The wait is over for many local cancer sufferers, as public patients now have access to world-class treatment in Shepparton.
The new GenesisCare radiotherapy centre finalised its deal with the Department of Health and Human Services and Goulburn Valley Health on Tuesday morning to allow public patients access to the centre without an out-of-pocket cost.
GV Health Chief Executive Matt Sharp welcomed the opportunity to work collaboratively with the state government and GenesisCare to ensure public patients have access to local radiotherapy services.
“It is very important that people who need to receive radiotherapy treatment can do so close to home, where possible, so they do not have to travel large distances when they are not feeling well,” Mr Sharp said.
Public patients were able to access treatment at the newly opened centre as of yesterday.
GenesisCare Victoria oncology general manager Shane Ryan said he was delighted the entire Greater Shepparton community would have access to world-class cancer care.
“One of our core values at GenesisCare is access for all,” Mr Ryan said.
“Under the agreement, public patients from across the Goulburn Valley region will for the first time be able to access cutting-edge cancer treatments and our global network of clinical trials in their community.”
It’s expected the centre will have the capacity to treat more than 400 patients a year.
Victorian Acting Health Minister Martin Foley said the Department of Health and Human Services had been working to reach an agreement with GenesisCare for several months.
“We’re delighted to reach a deal with GenesisCare and Goulburn Valley Health that will ensure all public patients receive world-class radiotherapy treatment, with no out-of-pocket expenses,” Mr Foley said.
“Having cancer is incredibly stressful, so we know how important it is for regional Victorians to be able to get the care they need, closer to home.”
The partnership comes as the government announced last year people living in regional Victoria will benefit from 500 000 extra specialist appointments, including an extra 40 000 appointments for patients suffering from cancer.