Australian Govt and Cricketer McGrath’s Foundation Join Hands to Train Breast Care Nurses

by Gopalan on Oct 14 2008 12:08 PM

The federal government of Australia is teaming up with the McGrath Foundation to train breast care nurses across the country.

The government will provide $12 million to the cricketer’s Foundation for the purpose, Health Minister Nicola Roxon announced Tuesday.

The Foundation will, in turn, train 44 nurses to provide information and care to women diagnosed with breast cancer, their family and friends.

McGrath foundation was co-founded by Glenn McGrath and his late wife Jane after she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2002. She died of cancer in June this year.

McGrath said that it was Jane's dream to ensure every woman diagnosed with breast cancer could access a breast care nurse after experiencing first hand the positive effect it had on her treatment.

"Today marks a very important milestone for us in realising Jane's dream and, while we still have some way to go, I know Jane was incredibly proud of this initiative and grateful to the Australian Government for their support," he said.

It costs approximately $350,000 to place one breast care nurse in a community for a three year period.

Ms Roxon said nearly all of the new nurses would be located in rural and regional areas.

"The nurses are being placed in areas that need them most and in locations where access to a full-time breast cancer nurse is not currently available," she said.

Rural Doctors Association of Australia president Dr Peter Rischbieth said the nurses would provide invaluable support for their patients, who were people dealing with a ''very confronting and frightening period of their life''.

''While this initiative is welcome, RDAA hopes that the state and federal governments will also address issues relating to the cost that rural families face in obtaining treatment for cancer,'' he said.

''Many rural women who are diagnosed with cancer have to travel long distances, and away from their families and communities, to have surgery or receive chemotherapy or radiation treatment.

''It is essential that the health system make this process as easy as possible.''