Media Release by Senator the Hon Concetta Fierravanti-Wells

Illawarra to get Specialist Breast Cancer Nurse

The Illawarra will gain an additional McGrath Foundation Breast Care Nurse based at Wollongong Hospital under an expansion of the program funded by the Australian Government.

Liberal Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells said the breast care nurse would take up the position in the first half of 2014.

The Senator said the nurse would support an estimated 317 women diagnosed with breast cancer in the Illawarra over the next four years.

“These nurses act as a patient advocate, they coordinate care not only for women with breast cancer, but also for their families and carers,” Senator Fierravanti-Wells said.

“They work to ensure the physical, psychological and emotional needs of those affected by breast cancer are met. I welcome Health Minister Peter Dutton’s announcement that another of these specialist nurses will be based in Wollongong.”

The Australian Government will be providing funding of $18.5 million for an additional 13 nurses over the next four years and to continue the work of the 44 existing Commonwealth funded positions across Australia. The McGrath Foundation funds another 42 Breast Care Nurse positions.

“These nurses have already supported around 14,000 Australian families affected by breast cancer and over the next four years will assist a similar number,” Senator Fierravanti-Wells said.

Unfortunately breast cancer afflicts thousands of Australian women each year.

“I praise the McGrath Foundation for its work and I’m glad as a government we can support their efforts,” she said.

The McGrath Foundation was established by Glenn McGrath and his late wife Jane after she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2002. Jane McGrath died from the disease in June 2008.