SHADOW Health Minister Catherine King hopes that next year, regional cancer patients will be able to access radiation oncology in Rockhampton instead of travelling to Brisbane.

Ms King was in Capricornia yesterday and toured Rockhampton Hospital's new cancer centre, funded by the former Labor government, with Keppel MP Brittany Lauga and Labor candidate for Capricornia, Leisa Neaton.

Mrs Lauga said one of the biggest issues she heard throughout her electorate was around the need to travel to Brisbane for treatment.

With chronic illness responsible for 90% of all deaths in Australia, Ms King said it was essential to have a health system that invested in prevention.

"Without that we are going to see increasing rates of chronic disease," she said.

"We're already seeing that… if we don't get a handle on this now, we are going to see this grow and grow.

"In its first budget, the Abbott government cut all Commonwealth funding from the National Partnership Agreements on prevention… money that was going to local councils to run walking programs, to schools to run education and health programs, kitchen garden programs."



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