Health Minister Jillian Skinner today visited Nepean Hospital to announce funding of $350,000 to purchase state-of-the-art mammography equipment.
Mrs Skinner was accompanied by Member for Penrith Stuart Ayres, Member for Mulgoa Tanya Davies, who have been strong advocates for the vital equipment. Liberal candidate for Londonderry Bernard Bratusa was also in attendance.
Currently, there are three sites across the Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District where women can receive free breast screening services. There are also mobile screening vans.
However, until today’s announcement, women who were found to need further investigation had to travel to Westmead Hospital, bypassing Nepean Hospital, which did not have the equipment to undertake further assessments.
“I am delighted to announce today that women will have access to breast diagnostic services at Nepean Hospital by end of 2014 and will be able to receive BreastScreen Assessment services at the hospital by the middle of 2015.” Mrs Skinner said
“Locating this state-of-the-art equipment within Nepean Hospital will enable procedures such as biopsies and provide expert nursing support and follow-up services for women in the local community.”
Cancer Institute NSW supports the development of a diagnostic and assessment service at Nepean Hospital.
Mr Ayres said: “This is a great day for women of all ages in the Penrith area, who have long wanted to have access to mammography services in Nepean Hospital.”
Ms Davies said: “Checking for breast cancer can be a stressful time for women and diagnosis is devastating, which is why it is so important that these diagnostic and assessment services are available to women of the Nepean district in their local hospital.
Mrs Skinner said it is a startling statistic that one in nine women in NSW will develop breast cancer in their lifetime.
“We know that these women have a stronger chance of survival if the cancer is detected early. I encourage all women aged over 50 to undergo a screening mammogram every two years.”