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.