The exact location of a radiotherapy service in Shepparton is yet to be determined says Federal Member for Murray Damian Drum.
On Thursday it was announced the Federal Government had committed $6.95million to radiation oncology provider GenesisCare to build a radiotherapy service in Shepparton.
Mr Drum said in the past year about 400 people from the Greater Shepparton area had travelled to Bendigo and Melbourne to gain access to radiotherapy.
‘‘What people of the Goulburn Valley need to know is that those people who are unfortunately going to be in need of radiotherapy treatment in the future are going to be able to access that treatment right here in Shepparton,’’ he said.
Mr Drum said he would be meeting with Shane Ryan from GenesisCare Victoria in coming weeks to work through some of the details of the radiotherapy service and to discuss where it should be situated in Shepparton.
‘‘One of the things we’ll be looking for is to see if this facility can be incorporated into stage two of the Goulburn Valley Health project,’’ he said.
‘‘Stage one of GV Health is about to get under way and this facility is not part of that; we would like to think that within 12 months we would have the facility under way,’’ he said.
‘‘We would like to think that within 12 to 18 months people would be starting to access these types of treatments right here in Shepparton.’’
Mr Drum said GenesisCare did not have a preference for where the facility was located, as long as it was somewhere that people could access easily.
Mr Drum said there was land available at Shepparton’s GV Health so it could be an option to build it there and he believed it made the best sense to have it there.
‘‘We’re going to need a fair amount of conversation with state government which has to actually step up to the plate and build this facility,’’ he said.
‘‘The Federal Government has now done its part in supplying the licence ... but now we need the state government to build the facility and build the facility in the right place.’’
Mr Drum said he had spoken to GV Health chief executive officer Trevor Saunders who had confirmed they had a parcel of land available.
‘‘It seems to fit all the criteria and I’ll be meeting with GenesisCare early next week or the week after to see how they see this best fits,’’ he said.
‘‘They deliver more of these services than anybody else in Australia and they’ll know exactly the type of criteria that needs to be found that creates the greatest access for all people in the Goulburn Valley.’’