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Family liaison plan to be expanded

Goldfields families affected by childhood cancer would have access to additional support services when they return home from treatment centres under a Federal Labor government, O’Connor candidate Shelley Payne says.

The Labor Party this week announced plans to invest $3.7 million across three years to establish nine additional Camp Quality family liaison co-ordinators across Australia, including one in Kalgoorlie-Boulder.

The not-for-profit organisation has been operating in Australia since 1983 to deliver programs and services aimed at improving the wellbeing of children diagnosed with cancer, and their families, especially when they return home from treatment.

Ms Payne said about 9500 Australian children were living with cancer, and supporting initiatives such as Camp Quality would ensure affected families received the best care.

“None of us wants to imagine the fear and helplessness that comes with having a child diagnosed with cancer,” she said.

“Kids and families in O’Connor who are battling this insidious disease deserve the best possible care and support.

“The placement of a Camp Quality family liaison co-ordinator in Kalgoorlie-Boulder will be a huge boost for children in O’Connor who are in a fight beyond their years, and their families.”

Camp Quality chief executive Kylea Tink welcomed Labor’s promise to support the expansion of the family liaison network and help regional families in the transition from hospital to home life.

“The idea behind our family liaison co-ordinators was inspired by anecdotal feedback from our families about how traumatic it can be to go from the reassuring and supportive environment often found in a children’s hospital to a home environment where services may simply not exist,” she said.

“The potential funding commitment announced by the Labor Party would enable us to expand our already proven network of family liaison co-ordinators into key regional and rural locations across Australia in the coming years and that would be great news for our kids and their families.”

Camp Quality employs co-ordinators in seven metropolitan hospitals to help families in treatment, with shadow minister for health and medicare Catherine King saying the promise to expand this network was another part of Labor’s $2.3 billion Medicare Cancer Plan.

“Our plan includes cheaper scans, cheaper specialist consultations, cheaper medicines and better support for children and families who face this unimaginable challenge,” she said.

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