Working towards a full suite of cancer treatment options in Shepparton for local patients has long been a goal of advocates for our region.
In these pages, we have consistently spoken about the need for these much-needed services to be developed in our community.
For patients going through cancer, the journey is already stressful enough before having to factor in that many currently have to travel to Albury, Bendigo or Melbourne for treatment.
The travel brings cost with it, and added logistical issues for patients and their family and friends.
We are pleased that recent announcements of planned expansion of cancer treatment services based in Shepparton will work towards addressing these issues.
First, there was last month’s announcement that a new radiation treatment centre for cancer patients, run by private provider GenesisCare, would likely be open by the end of this year.
The $11million centre is set to open at 124 Corio St, with funding talks ongoing with the Victorian Government that will hopefully ensure the service is available to both private and public patients.
This came after a $6.95million Federal Government grant to fund a key piece of treatment equipment for the centre.
Then yesterday came another significant announcement, with $26million earmarked for a new centre to expand current cancer services at Goulburn Valley Health.
Construction for the Integrated Cancer Centre is expected to begin in the next two or three years.
Goulburn Valley Health chief executive Matt Sharp said the organisation would work closely with GenesisCare.
We congratulate Damian Drum and the Federal Government for this critical funding, and the many local stakeholders who have advocated tirelessly for this cause.
We look forward to seeing the progress and development of these services in our region, that will ensure local people will be able to receive treatment in their community, surrounded by family and friends and without the onerous need to travel long distances to access it.