darren.chester.mp@aph.gov.au 1300 131 785
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July 14, 2011

Bairnsdale Regional Health Service is one of 18 Victorian hospitals to share in a Coalition Government funding injection of $1.81 million to obtain new equipment to meet an increasing demand for colonoscopy procedures.

Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, said “the hospital will receive $71,942 in equipment grants funding and is just one way in which the Coalition Government is working to ensure that Victorians living in regional areas have better access to quality services.”

“Bowel cancer is the second most common cancer in Victoria, with about 3,600 new cases diagnosed every year and although it is one of the most curable types of cancer if detected early, 30 people are still dying from the disease each week,” Mr Bull said.

“The funding is particularly important considering the increased demand on public colonoscopy services created in part by the ‘National Bowel Cancer Screening Program’.

“Those who have received a positive screening test via the program require prompt follow-up via colonoscopy.”

Nationals Member for Gippsland, Darren Chester said the additional colonoscopy funding would make it easier for locals to access the services they needed.

“People are more likely to undertake these types of tests if they don’t have the burden of extensive travel and the costs that go with that,” Mr Chester said.

“The Federal Government’s National Bowel Screening Program has seen an increase in demand for colonoscopy procedures and this investment in new equipment will help to meet that demand.

“Keeping our health services well equipped can also be a key in retaining and recruiting new specialists to the region.”

Minister for Health, David Davis, said the Coalition Government welcomed the Commonwealth Government’s commitment of $138.7 million over four years to continue the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program with one-off screenings for 50, 55 and 65 year olds.

“I see the continuation of the program as a positive step but will continue to advocate for a full roll out of the program to all people aged over 50, every two years, in accordance with National Health and Medical Research Council guidelines,” Mr Davis said.

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