The start of work on a new radiation treatment centre for cancer patients in Shepparton is a milestone to be celebrated.
A ceremonial sod turning event was held yesterday at 124 Corio St, the home of the new $11 million centre being built by radiation oncology provider GenesisCare.
Construction work beginning is the culmination of several months of work to get to this point.
GenesisCare’s plans to expand its service to Shepparton were first made known in 2017.
Around the same time, the provision of a $6.95 million Federal Government grant to fund a key piece of treatment equipment for the centre was announced.
The new centre will complement the existing cancer treatment services already offered in Shepparton, but access to radiation therapy treatment within Greater Shepparton will be available for local patients for the first time.
It will have the capacity to treat more than 400 patients each year.
Currently, patients need to travel to Melbourne, Bendigo or Albury/Wodonga to access such treatment.
The development of such a centre here is most welcome.
Patients’ cancer journeys are already life-changing and stressful enough for sufferers and their families without the added impost of significant travel just to be able to access treatment.
No doubt this takes its toll on patients who are already going through a tough time.
The fact that local patients will soon be able to access the full suite of treatment options here in Shepparton, in the community they live in, is a hugely positive development.
We applaud all involved in making this a reality and will continue to follow the progress of the construction and the opening of the new centre.
We are also keen to hear about funding commitments from relevant governments to ensure that public patients will be able to access this treatment.
It is critical that all local patients, both private and public, are afforded access to these treatment options right here in Shepparton.