A Shorten Labor Government will commit $2.7 million to fund a cancer treatment day unit at Singleton Hospital to improve support for patients and their families undergoing chemotherapy and cancer treatment.
The service will include three chemotherapy chairs at Singleton Hospital and will allow local patients to be treated in their community, rather than travelling long distances out of town, ultimately taking the strain off major hospitals in the Hunter New England Health district.
"The lack of this type of treatment service has been brought to my attention by the residents of Singleton and this reflects how much the facility is needed," Member for Hunter Joel Fitzgibbon said.
Currently, cancer patients in Singleton must travel to Newcastle or Muswellbrook to receive chemotherapy treatment.
Under Labors plan, eligible patients who have had their initial chemotherapy consultation and treatment with an oncologist will only need to travel to Singleton Hospital to take advantage of a new day-therapy centre at the hospital.
"Although every patient must see an oncologist to begin chemo treatment, after their initial treatment they no longer need an oncologist on site," Mr Fitzgibbon said. "This facility makes a lot of sense and will make an enormous difference to the quality of life of many local cancer patients into the future."
Kay Sullivan, president, Singleton Cancer Appeal Committee, did not stop her campaign for a cancer treatment room in the Singleton Hospital after the failure of Labor to win the NSW state election.
"I was hoping we wouldn't lose the commitment to fund this room so it is great Joel and Federal Labor have come on board to fund the room," she said.
"It has been a hard slog but worth every effort to ensure local cancer patients can receive their treatment in Singleton."
Mr Fitzgibbon joked about what a tough campaigner Kay was and how she would not take no for an answer.
"This is part of our commitment across Australia to cancer patients and their families," he said.
"(We believe) local patients should be able to receive chemotherapy at Singleton Hospital."