Qld government earmarks $750 million for cancer center | Western magazine

Cancer patients in Queensland will be able to access specialist treatment at a new $750 million centre, which should ease pressure on overcrowded public hospitals.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced on Monday that the new Queensland Cancer Center at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital will receive funding in next Tuesday’s budget.

She said the facility will provide diagnostics, treatment and outpatient services to thousands of cancer patients every year.

“It’s like a one-stop-shop for the most sophisticated treatment people need under one roof, it’s exactly what the doctor ordered,” Ms Palaszczuk told reporters on Monday.

The facility will have 150 beds, 26 consultation rooms, 37 chemotherapy chairs, four operating theatres, as well as pathology departments and a pharmacy.

The new beds are expected to relieve some pressure on public hospital emergency departments, which have struggled with acute capacity issues for years.

“So they (cancer patients) won’t come to the emergency room, they’ll come here,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

“So they will ease the pressure on our emergency services.”

Construction work is expected to begin in 2024 and take around four years to complete, with some services coming online before the project is complete.

Treasurer Cameron Dick promised frontline health care funding would not be cut in the June 21 budget, amid mounting pressure from COVID-19 and flu outbreaks.

Mr Dick had previously promised to cut household electricity bills by $44 this year with a one-time rebate of $385 million.

Another $200 million will go into a fund for new roads, sewer systems and other infrastructure in the southeast of the state to spur new housing developments.

Public high school students are to have access to free periodicals, while $72 million will go towards a new aeromedical center at Brisbane Airport.

In total, Mr Dick said he expects to spend around $1.5 billion more than the government earns in its 2022/23 budget.

That’s about $900 million less than the deficit he forecast six months ago, in part because of higher taxes on coal miners and gambling companies.

The government is also expected to start pocketing interest income from tenants’ lease obligations from July 1.

The Treasurer promised not to raise taxes, fees or charges in the 2020 election, but now insists the promise was made to families, not businesses.

“We have made no promises to big business, whether Queensland, national or multinational,” Mr Dick told reporters on Monday.

“We didn’t make any promises to them. We didn’t make any promises to the big coal companies. We didn’t make any promises to the big overseas-based online betting companies.

“These companies have made billions of dollars since we made that pledge, billions and billions, and it’s time the people of Queensland got their share in the future.”

Australian Associated Press

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