Young Australians from regional and rural areas seeking cancer treatment in city hospitals can now access free accommodation with their families at Quest Apartment Hotels in a new initiative between the company and The Sony Foundation.
The new ‘You Can Stay’ program aims to help alleviate accommodation costs for young cancer patients aged between 15-25 who must travel 100 kilometres or more to receive treatment. Under the pledge, the Sony Foundation and Quest Apartment Hotels will offer free accommodation at a Quest property for the patient and their family while treatment is being sought.
Patients can utilise either a one-bedroom or two-bedroom apartment, with the length of stay uncapped and at no cost while the patient is treated either within the hospital or as an out-patient. The offer is also available to those undertaking clinical trials – programs not often supported by government transport and accommodation subsidy schemes.
Patients living outside of metropolitan areas can often find themselves with accommodation bills of $7,000 or more for themselves and their families which they must pay while receiving treatment.
The program is already being utilised, with 15 patients nationally having utilised more than 750 room nights through the charitable endeavour.
Quest Chief Operating Officer, David Mansfield, said he was initially shocked at the lack of accommodation options available to young Australian cancer patients when first approached by the Sony Foundation and knew the organisation had to act.
“We know that when these guests come to us, it’s a terribly challenging time so we have implemented a tailored bookings process to make things easier and support their unique requirements,” Mansfield said.
“Today, we can proudly say Quest is only ever a phone call away.
“We would like to thank Sony Foundation for inviting us along on this important journey. We look forward to making a continued impact together through the You Can Stay initiative and seeing that no young person fighting cancer goes without a place to call home, for a day, week, month, or even year at a time.”
The Sony Foundation, along with its partners Tour de Cure, Sony Electronics and Varian, also provide patients checking in to a Quest property with a welcome pack including a pair of wireless headphones to help lower stress by blocking out the sounds associated with a stressful hospital stay.