Tag Archive for: Orange

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.



In March 2022, Allan wasn’t feeling like himself: “You know your body and you know when something’s not right. I would have probably ignored the symptoms for a while, but my wife just made a GP appointment, and I did as I was told.”

Based in Orange, in the Central Tablelands of NSW, Allan underwent a series of tests locally, and was formally diagnosed with prostate cancer in April 2022. He was referred to Canberra for a PET scan to rule out any spread. Allan local GP noted:

“Your wife just saved your life!”

Allan and Sue

Allan with his wife, Sue, who live in Orange NSW.

In August 2022, Allan started 20 rounds of radiotherapy in his hometown, when he was prescribed a drug that was not listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). Worryingly, it was going to cost Allan $84,000 over two years. Allan paid for the first month wondering how he was going to come up with the rest of the payments.

After consultation with his medical oncologist, it was determined the dose could be quartered and retain effectiveness, which meant the drug would now cost Allan $21,000 over two years — a welcome relief, but “that sort of money really bites”.

It was a social worker who approached Can Assist Orange for support, and helpfully funded the next four months of medication and agreed to fund a further four months in year two, which proved to be a relief for Allan:

“I was really gob smacked by the generosity of Can Assist and am so grateful. To know there are people in the community looking out for others who they don’t even know … that makes me think about what the volunteers do and how much they give,” he says.

Thankfully, the cancer drugs had no side effects for Allan — only the steroids he was also required to take generated minor effects. In fact, the drug has been so effective that Allan will now cease taking it after just 18 months, with a good prognosis.

Now, he’s looking forward to living a long and healthy life alongside his wife Sue, their daughters Melinda, Kylie and Tegan, and eight grandchildren.

The Rotary Club of Orange Daybreak is donating the proceeds from the October Orange Farmers Market gate takings to the charity Can Assist Orange, with the Board topping the amount up to $2,000.

The president of Can Assist Orange, Helen Corby, said one of the biggest costs to cancer patients in the Orange region was the price of crucial medical treatments including chemotherapy.

“Twenty-nine of the 55 patients (we assist) are under the age of 60 so the cost of their treatments is much higher and often extends for many weeks,” she said.

“We are grateful to the Rotary Club of Orange Daybreak for donating the gate receipts from the October Orange Farmers Market as we have found it difficult to raise funds this year.’

The president of Orange Daybreak, Sue Moffatt, said the branch was pleased to help the local charity during a time when holding fundraising events was particularly difficult.