Relating to the delivery of specific health services and specialist care in remote, rural and regional NSW.

Lita, Helen and MP’s

 

Can Assist members from our Orange and Forbes branches provided their feedback to the NSW State Governments Select Committee on Regional, Rural and Remote Health in May.

Out of pocket medication costs, rural healthcare staff shortages, IPTAAS and community transport all topics of discussion.

See here for our thoughts on non-emergency community transport, out of pocket medical costs for rural cancer patients and the state of palliative care.

 

 

From left to right – Majella Gallagher (Can Assist), Dr Peter Baade (Atlas), Senator Wendy Askew, Emma Phillips (Can Assist), Dr Kerrie Mengersen (Atlas).

It was a privilege to provide feedback from our Can Assist Community at the end in January alongside representatives from Australia Cancer Atlas to the Federal Government Senate Committee Inquiry into – Equitable access to diagnosis and treatment for individuals with rare and less common cancers.

See Can Assist’s opening speech here

Can Assist – Opening Speech

To read more about the Inquiry see here

It was a privilege today to provide feedback from our Can Assist community network, alongside Royal Far West Manly Sydney NSW, to the NSW State’s Select Committee on Remote, Rural and Regional Health. They are conducting an inquiry into the implementation of recommendations specifically relating to workforce issues, workplace culture and funding considerations for remote, rural and regional health.

CAN ASSIST Opening Speech : THE IMPLEMENTATION OF PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE NO. 2 recommendations relating to workforce issues, workplace culture and funding considerations for remote, rural and regional health.

See Can Assist’s opening speech here

Can Assist – Opening Speech

To read more about the Inquiry see here

See here for our thoughts on healthcare professional workplace reforms in regional, rural and remote NSW post the 2021 Health Inquiry

Excerpt from Submission below:

Can Assist is the largest cancer support network in rural, regional and remote NSW; active in 56 branches with near 3,000 members. Over the last 30 years we have delivered near $50million in direct patient assistance with one goal in mind – equitable access to cancer treatment and care for non-metro residents. Our branches are operated by local volunteers who live and work in these areas and many have a detailed understanding of their local health landscape.

Read submission in full here

Excerpt from Submission below:

Our submission seeks increased budget allocation for an existing government scheme – The Isolated Patients Travel and Accommodation Assistance Scheme (IPTAAS), not only to lift rebate levels but also to improve the profile and processes of the scheme. We see broad applicability to the customer service, health, and regional clusters. Can Assist has actively been seeking change for some time now. To date we have: made two separate submissions to the Inquiry into Health outcomes and access to health and hospital services in rural, regional, and remote NSW, provided our personal testimony to the Upper House Committee conducted two meetings with NSW Health and one meeting with Minister Hazzard. We have met with several other regional MPs on the matter.

Read submission in full here

Excerpt from Submission below:

I write from the Cancer Patients’ Assistance Society of NSW (Can Assist). We have been operating for 66 years now with the sole purpose of providing financial assistance and bespoke support to assist rural and remote cancer patient’s access treatment. We deliver around $2-2.5M a year across more than 10,000 instances of financial assistance. Our aid is typically split between travel/accommodation (40%) out of pocket medical costs (40%) and a variety of other bespoke expenses including utilities…

I write to represent the experiences and perspectives of rural/remote chemotherapy consumers.

Comparison points rural/remote vs urban areas –

  1. Financial access to chemotherapy infusion/injection (the direct cost of treatment).

Can Assist is rarely approached to help finance the cost of chemotherapy injection/infusion treatments. Our recipients across the state commonly have access to…

Read submission in full here

Excerpt from Submission below:

We identify THREE broad problems with regards to the provision of palliative care in country NSW. The severity of these problems, and their consequences are magnified with distance from metropolitan and regional areas. Our insight speaks predominantly to the experience of those who choose to die at home – which, in a rural setting is typically very expensive and, in many cases, simply not possible.

Read submission in full here

Excerpt from Submission below:

SUBMISSION FOR NEW INQUIRY INTO HEALTH OUTCOMES AND SERVICES IN RURAL, REGIONAL AND REMOTE NSW

Can Assist is the largest cancer support network in rural, regional and remote NSW; active in 56 branches with near 3,000 members. Our branches are operated by local volunteers who live and work in these areas and therefore have a detailed understanding of local needs. In the 2019 fiscal year we delivered some $2.14 million in financial assistance (representing an increase of 40% over the prior 5 years) across more than 9,000 requests throughout country NSW.

Improving equitable access to cancer services for country NSW residents has been our mission for over 65 years. Our growth comes from community grass roots with each branch being initiated, funded and operated by locals. Our oldest branch (Forbes) opened in 1956 and our youngest branch (Merriwa) opened in June this year. We consider ourselves a key stakeholder in this inquiry.

We receive some 90% of our distress referrals through health workers of the Local Health Districts. We are highly regarded and well known throughout country NSW. We congratulate the government for conducting this inquiry and appreciate the opportunity to make a submission.

Read submission in full here