New Look Hub Boosts Access To Genetic Services

15 March 2016

Parliamentary Secretary for Medical Research, Frank McGuire, today launched a new look service providing public genetic services for patients and families across north-east Victoria.

Genetics in the North East (GENE) is the new name for Victoria’s clinical genetic service hub encompassing Austin Health and Mercy Health campuses in Heidelberg and Northern Health in Epping.

The hub provides clinical genetic services such as medical diagnosis of genetic conditions and genetic counselling, as well as genetic testing for patients and their families in north-east Victoria.

This includes Northern Metropolitan suburbs and hospitals in Ballarat, Shepparton and Wodonga.

Outreach services provided by the hub boosts access for rural patients, who do not need to travel to Melbourne for public genetic services.

Genetics underpins many common adult medical conditions as well as rare childhood disorders.

Testing is vital for the prevention, diagnosis and management of inherited conditions as people with specific genetic mutations are more at risk of that disease than the general population.

For example, people who carry the BRCA1 mutation are at a higher risk of developing breast cancer than the general population and, knowing this, may make informed decisions about how best to manage the higher risk.

The Andrews Labor Government is growing the state’s public genetic services, and this year provided $22 million to services across the state.

In addition, the Government has invested $25 million to develop a state-wide genomic sequencing program, which will speed up the diagnosis and better target the treatment of rare conditions and inherited diseases.

Quotes attributable to Parliamentary Secretary for Medical Research Frank McGuire

“Our genes play an important role in the health of Victorians and their families – that’s why we’re investing to grow our public genetic services.”

“This new look hub will mean more families in the North-East can access genetic testing, so they can get the diagnosis and treatment they need, sooner.”

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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