RCH cutting psychological support for kids with cancer unconscionable: VPA
While the Royal Children’s Hospital embarks on its yearly fundraising drive, it is quietly cutting psychological support for kids with cancer and their families, said the Victorian Psychologists Association today.
Dr Rosemary Kelly, VPA Inc Executive Officer said:
“The cuts by RCH put into question the ability of the Hospital to ensure the mental health of kids undergoing cancer treatment and facing the fight of their lives.
“These treatments are difficult for adults to go through, and are even more difficult for kids, who are often frightened, anxious and filled with difficult questions about the future.
“For the families of kids with cancer there’s a great deal of anger, fear, stress and uncertainty; and if you come from rural Victoria it can be even more stressful. There is a mountain of research that shows the importance of psychological support for kids, and their families, to better cope with the stress of undergoing cancer treatments.
Dr Kelly continued:
“It’s extraordinarily troubling that the Royal Children’s Hospital thinks cutting its capacity to deliver the best possible psychological support for kids with cancer is a good idea.
“It’s even more extraordinary that Minister David Davis told Victorians last year his government would find the funding to make sure this didn’t happen. And here we are twelve months later and we find out the Minister and his government were loose with the truth.”
Dr Kelly concluded:
“These kids and their families need the sensitivity that only registered psychologists can provide; the RCH knows it and if Minister Davis was true to his word he’ll find the necessary funding and make sure kids and their families get access to registered psychologists to help them through the most difficult times in their lives.”