Coast prostate cancer group worried about treatment cost

Rob Tonge.
Rob Tonge.

COAST prostate cancer sufferers want assurance from Federal Health Minister Sussan Ley they "won't be slugged every time they have a blood test".

Members of the Sunshine Coast Prostate Cancer Support Group say the prospect of cuts to Medicare payments for pathology are causing a lot of unnecessary worry.

In December, as part of the Mid-Year Economic Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO), the Government announced it would remove bulk billing incentives for pathology services.

Last month the group held its January meeting at the Maroochy RSL and decided to write to the Minister as a group and also as individuals.

"We are concerned that people in older age groups with chronic disease and needing regular blood tests will be affected," co-convenor Rob Tonge told Seniors after the meeting.

"There may be concessions but we don't know what they are. We don't think it's unreasonable to ask for clarification. There's a lot of anguish."

In Australia, 20,000 Australian men are diagnosed with the disease annually and there's a mortality rate of close to 3500.

Rob's group meets once a month at the Maroochy RSL and with 431 members is the second largest in Australia.

It was formed in 2002 and takes in an area from Landsborough and Caloundra in the south, then north to Cooran and west to Kenilworth taking in the Blackall Range townships, in all, 22 communities.

The southern area is covered by the Glasshouse Country Support Group.

He said there was a record number of 77 people at the meeting.

"The response to the article about us in Seniors last month has been incredible," he said.

The next meeting is on Tuesday, February 23. Guest speaker is Jim Hughes AM, national chairman of the Prostrate Cancer Foundation.

For more information on the group, call Rob 5446 1318 or email

Topics:  cancer cost prostate sunshine coast sussan ley

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