Member for Morwell, Russell Northe today called for additional support to tackle an alarming issue for our community – Prostate Cancer. “The mortality rates for men with this disease are higher in Gippsland in comparison to every other region of Victoria”, Mr Northe said, “our local men are diagnosed at more advanced stages of this dreadful disease, and they wait significantly longer timeframes for life-saving treatment”.
“It absolutely shocks me to know that one fifth are diagnosed with the disease ‘by accident’”, he continued, “That’s why I’m calling for more support for these men and their families in our community”.
“For a long time, the Latrobe community have been lucky to have a dedicated group of local people working tirelessly behind the scenes”, Mr Northe said. “The Prostate Support Group (PSG) in Morwell and Latrobe’s Biggest Ever Blokes BBQ – a wonderfully successful fundraising event – bring much needed attention and support, for this great cause”.
“Fundraising from this group currently provide funding towards a 0.4 Prostate Cancer Specialist Nurse at Latrobe Regional Hospital (LRH)”, Mr Northe said, “but this role has an enormous workload”.
In the last financial year alone, this Nurse has seen over four hundred and fifty patients – and this looks set to increase – meaning there are now delays in assisting patients, as well as limited opportunities to provide valuable preventative services.
“Today, I’m calling upon the State Government to fund an additional day for this Nurse at LRH, to allow us to address our abysmal Prostate Cancer outcomes”, Mr Northe said, “this would allow the role to build more awareness for patients and practitioners, providing a preventative approach to tackle this enormous problem”.
“With the terrible outcomes the Latrobe community suffer due to this disease, it makes sense that support for this cause should be a health priority for the State”, Mr Northe said. “I implore the Government to act, providing this vital funding immediately: for our local men, their families, for the dedicated health workers and community volunteers that support them”.