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Throat cancer survivor calls on State Government to help patients suffering in silence

Patients living without a voice box are suffering in silence and the Victorian Government is doing nothing to help, one cancer survivor has told Neil Mitchell.

Mike George (above) got in contact with 3AW Mornings to share his story of rediscovering his voice post laryngectomy, though at a considerable cost.

“It’s probably about $5000 a year to keep my voice,” Mike said.

He uses technology called an HME (Heat moisture exchanger) to speak after his larynx was removed, but for many it’s not an option.

Mike said in Victoria HME’s are not covered by government funding or private health insurance, yet in NSW government subsidies are available.

“There are several people who’ve said to me they’ve gotten close to suicide,” Mike said.

“Without their partners with them they really struggle to communicate so they’re leading a very quiet life.”

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Mike said for the amount of Victorians suffering, he estimates it would cost the State Government about $2.5 million.

Neil said the idea was “a no-brainer”, because the government would save on treating mental health issues in patients without a voice.

“It’s fair, it’s decent, it’s compassionate and it’s financially sensible,” Neil said.

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