Dubbo Photo News
Cancer charity pushes to close the gap between country and metro health care
ALMOST half of cancer patients in regional NSW struggle to access appropriate treatment because of their location, according to new research by Cancer Council.
The survey also revealed that nearly 80 per cent of regional NSW residents are concerned that where they live will affect their chances of surviving cancer, while two thirds believe their whereabouts will affect the quality of care they receive.
These findings have formed the basis of Cancer Council NSW’S submission to the parliamentary inquiry into rural and regional health, prompting the charity to call for better access to cancer treatment and care for those in the regions.
Cancer Council’s director of Cancer Information and Support, Annie Miller, hopes the inquiry will find ways to ensure the best possible cancer care can be accessed no matter who you are or where you live.
“As the state’s leading cancer charity with a network of more than 2400 volunteers across NSW, and through our work providing support to people affected by cancer, we hear hundreds of real stories from real people about their cancer experiences and challenges living in regional and remote NSW,” Ms Miller explained.
“Cancer outcomes in NSW are among the best in the world, yet outcomes remain poor for people living in rural and remote NSW compared to people living in metropolitan areas.
“Evidence clearly demonstrates that the chance of dying from cancer increases with distance from major centres.”
Ms Miller said the disparities are a result of poorer access to high-quality care in regional areas, and the fact that regional residents are more likely to be diagnosed with low survival cancers.
As part of the submission, Cancer Council NSW made 12 recommendations to help close the health divide between regional and metropolitan NSW.
The recommendations included achievable changes such as enhancing access to care via telehealth, ensuring transport to treatment and accommodation assistance is a priority for patients and their families, and helping people with cancer navigate their treatment.
The Cancer Council NSW submission is just one of 800 that have been received by the inquiry.
According to news reports, dozens of these are from anonymous doctors and nurses on the frontline recounting acts of bullying and medical errors as a result of being over-worked, along with a chronic shortage of staff and resources.
With submissions now closed, public hearings for the inquiry will begin on March 19.
LEEANNE Shields is celebrating her 10th year in business as a florist and is still contemplating the pathway which saw her go into that business.
“I got divorced, I needed a job, and I was getting divorced, and my father had had a market garden down on Macquarie Street years and years ago and he did grow flowers for the Sydney markets as well as his vegetables, so I knew a bit about flowers from that,” she told Dubbo Photo News.
“I was a pastry cook before I got married and had kids, but you can’t go back to being a pastry cook, starting at midnight and leaving your kids at home so I got on to this almost by default.
“It’s a crazy business, who would employ a crazy woman at 50-whatever, so I’m better off staying here and working.”
She’s also known as one of Dubbo bluntest and most forthright people – she certainly doesn’t put on any airs and graces when dealing with the public.
“No, I say what I think – I don’t beat around the bush, I have told many a bride they’re got too many people in their bridal team.”
She said the retail flower industry is different to how many people would perceive it.
“It’s a lot messier being a florist than it looks, sometimes being a pastry cook is a lot less messy than messing around with flowers.
“I love a funeral over the wedding because people are less demanding, whereas some brides change their minds all the time.”
During the lock downs and social distancing last year, she is proud of the fact that during the worst of the virus business went up and that she didn’t close the doors for a single day.
“I do talk to a lot of people and a lot of people do go past the front door of the shop and yell or wave every morning and I do have people just dropping in for a yak,” she said.
“I find out first about who’s been born, who’s getting married and who’s died, before anybody else in Dubbo, I hatch them, match them and dispatch them.”
What is HIPPY you ask? Centacare Bathurst is excited to celebrate 11 years of HIPPY (Home Interaction Program for Parents and Youngsters) in Dubbo.
HIPPY is a free home-based early learning program that empowers parents/carers and children alike and is provided for children in the year before school and then in the first year of school.
Children gain skills and confidence through a range of fun learning activities which sets them up for success and a positive start to big school. Families living in the Dubbo area with a child in the year before formal schooling (around 4 years old) may be eligible to start HIPPY. Parents/carers can gain employment as casual tutors within the program for two years and are provided with ongoing training and support to work with families to complete the HIPPY program activities. Parents/carers looking for casual employment during school hours and throughout the school term are encouraged to contact the HIPPY Dubbo coordinator Claire Williams. Casual tutor roles have proved to be a great step for lot of parents to return to workforce and for some to enter the workforce.
“HIPPY is a free transformative twoyear, home-based early childhood learning program empowering carers as their child’s first teacher. Many parents, carers and grandparents have worked as HIPPY Tutors and have gained further employment following their two-year term with the HIPPY program,” Claire Williams said. The HIPPY program encourages a love of learning by using a number of strategies that make the most of everywhere learning without having purely a focus on traditional education practices. It builds self-esteem and confidence in parents and carers to be involved and enjoy their child’s development and ongoing education. It gives a great head start for the children in their journey of learning.
Centacare Bathurst is successfully delivering HIPPY to parents and their children in Dubbo and Lithgow and invite you to contact us for more information about this year’s HIPPY program so you can see first-hand the impact HIPPY is making for children and families in your community as a positive learning and employment program.
If you would like more information about the HIPPY
Program, please contact Claire on 0438 336 437. We’d love to hear from you!
The Home Interaction Program for Parents and Youngsters is funded by the Australian Government through the Department of Social Services. The Brotherhood of St Laurence holds the licence to operate HIPPY in Australia.