Lock it in.
Dubbo will have an integrated cancer centre as part of stage three and four of the Dubbo Hospital redevelopment.
A letter signed by federal Minister for Regional Development and Parkes MP Mark Coulton has guaranteed to the state government that it will provide $25 million of the estimated $50 million for the centre to be constructed.
The funding had been promised if the Coalition was successful in winning the federal election in July but the existence of the letter is the equivalent of an iron-clad promise.
During a visit to Dubbo on Tuesday, Assistant Minister for Rural Health Dr David Gillespie said the funding was coming from the Community Development Grants Program.
Mr Coulton said the letter had been required by the NSW government to assist their planning for the third and fourth stages of the hospital.
The remaining $25 million required is expected from the state government.
Dubbo MP and Deputy Premier Troy Grant has previously said the state government would do its bit to ensure the centre would become a reality.
He said in May his government would sit down with the federal government and the Western NSW Local Health District to work out the remaining funding and time frame.
The good news for Dubbo and the wider community is that the state government is now able to work towards the construction of the centre.
It is no secret that Western NSW has been left behind when it comes to cancer treatment, with so many patients forced to drive long distances to Sydney for treatment, adding stress and strain for so many families at a time where they are already doing it tough.
The integrated centre would be a step in the right direction and even for people further west, it would reduce the amount of travel time and hopefully have a positive impact on their recovery.
When combined with the improved facilities and services provided by stage three and four of the hospital, it will give the region’s healthcare a welcome boost.
It is outstanding to see hundreds of millions of dollars being injected into Dubbo Hospital from both levels of government and both Troy Grant and Mark Coulton, and their respective governments deserve a lot of praise for making it happen.