NSW Shadow Minister for Small Business Don Page
Member For Ballina Continues To Fight For Mobile Breast Screen Vans
Victor P Taffa
Ballina MP, Don Page, has submitted a petition to the NSW Parliament containing over 1,300 signatures of local people opposed to the removal of Mobile Breast Screening on the Far North Coast.
The terms of the Petition brought to the NSW Labor Governments attention –
That the Mobile Breast Screen Units have been removed from many areas of the North Coast Area Health Service; this removal is disadvantaging women in these areas and reducing their chances of an early diagnosis of Breast Cancer due to the difficulty experienced in trying to get to a fixed screening unit; an early diagnosis greatly increases a woman’s chance of survival; and already less than 50% of eligible women are being screened.
Mr. Page said it was important to keep the campaign for reinstatement of the mobile breast screening vans active because it would save lives.
“I’ve raised the issue many times in Parliament and I will continue to put this important issue before the State Labor Government.” Mr. Page said.
The issue was first raised by Mr. Page in March last year and the campaign to have the mobile service returned has been growing ever since.
“My office is consistently contacted by concerned residents who can no longer access the mobile breast screen service. Many of them have difficulty accessing the fixed services in Lismore or Tweed Heads due to lack of transport, work and family commitments.” Mr. Page said.
One in eight Australian women will develop breast cancer with over 12,000 women diagnosed every year.
There is a rally today in Ballina and Byron Bay to protest against the loss of the Mobile Breast Screen Vans since June 2008.
“Parliament is sitting, so unfortunately I can’t be there to support the rally today. I will be continuing to raise this issue in Parliament as I have this week.” Mr. Page said.
The lack of Mobile Breast Screen Vans in the North Coast of New South Wales is an issue that should not be ignored lightly.
Over the border in Queensland Australia Post was forced to close a mailing centre when a ‘cancer cluster’ was discovered after numerous female employees were diagnosed with breast cancer recently within a short period of time.
The Federal, Bligh and Keneally Government’s are clearly not taking the issue seriously enough and the Area Health Service method of Hospital administration is only adding to the problem because decision makers who could approve additional Mobile Breast Screen Vans are too far away from the ‘coalface’ of day to day health problems.