Cancer Patients Travel Dilemma
26 June 2012 at 11:42 am
A new Not for Profit report has made an unexpected finding in its efforts to understand the practical issues facing cancer patients when going through treatment – car parking facilities.
The finding comes from the Cancer Council NSW and The University of Newcastle report, which surveyed 565 NSW cancer patients and 122 staff from 44 different cancer centres.
The research found that less than half of cancer treatment centres and hospitals in NSW provide dedicated parking for cancer patients, leaving many to face high costs in parking fees or having to walk long distances to treatment buildings.
Of the cancer treatment centres surveyed, 49 per cent had dedicated parking but many centres that did provide specific parking arrangements failed to inform patients, causing them unnecessary costs and stress.
Additionally, of the 61 per cent of centres that provided subsidised parking, 86 per cent of staff surveyed said patients were not informed about it, meaning patients could not take advantage of the arrangement.
Manager of Policy and Advocacy at Cancer Council NSW Anita Tang said that the hospital parking system for cancer patients is a disjointed mess, which causes unnecessary stress and financial hardship.
Similar investigations by the Victorian Cancer Council has found that in addition to not enough parking, or costly parking, many people can not find their way around the carparks and don’t understand the parking system especially when they are coming from regional Victoria and are in a state of stress.
Travel Aid Australia provides assistance to country people to attend medical appointments in Melbourne
Details of the parking-related stress for cancer patients comes as the Victorian Travellers Aid Medical Companion Service, which provides volunteer travel companions to country people and people who need assistance to attend medical appointments including cancer treatment in Melbourne, is under threat.
Travellers Aid Australia said its Volunteer Medical Companion Service will have to close on 30 June 2012 unless $76,000 can be raised to save it.
“For thousands of regional Victorians travelling to Melbourne each year for medical appointments, health anxieties are intensified by the stress of having to travel very long distances to the city and then navigate their way around an unfamiliar city to access their health or specialist appointment,” Jody Willmer from Travellers Aid Australia said.
“We launched a public appeal on 13 June and have raised $ 24,134.00“
Travellers Aid Australia is a registered charity and has been providing assistance to travellers in need since 1916.