Hundreds expected to benefit each year
FOR local resident, Rosie Roberts the soon to be established $6.95M radiotherapy service provided by GenesisCare in Shepparton will come too late. While by the time it opens in Shepparton it is hoped she will have already beaten her breast cancer, Rosie says it is positive that the region will finally have a service available that was long overdue.
Having been diagnosed with HER2 breast cancer in March this year, Rosie had her first chemotherapy treatment in April, and following her final treatment in October and a lumpectomy operation last month, she now has to undergo radiation therapy, but in order to do that, she has to travel to and from Bendigo every day for at least three weeks.
Rosie said, “This is a big thing for the region. I’ve been told that there are 300 people from this area travel to Bendigo every year for treatment.
“I’m going to have to travel every day to and from Bendigo because I need to be back to get my children ready for school in the morning.
“It’s going to be a struggle, and what’s more is that there are others who have a worse situation that I do, and I really feel for them.
“With the size of Shepparton and the number of people here it is a wonder that we don’t already have this service available.
“Nobody asks for cancer, so to have this service available will make a big difference.
“This is a service that is well needed, and while it might not benefit me, it will help others in the future.”
Liberal Member for Northern Victoria, Wendy Lovell said, “GenesisCare is the largest provider of radiation oncology in Australia and operates eight radiation oncology centres in Victoria, including the Regional Cancer Centre in Albury.
“Because they are a private provider, it is vital that the State Government works with GenesisCare so that any planned services in Shepparton are available and affordable to all patients.”
Ms Lovell has called on the Andrews Labor Government and Health Minister, Jill Hennessy to ensure the creation of a public/private partnership between GenesisCare and government to provide treatment is available to all public patients.
“I have long campaigned for radiotherapy to be made available at GV Health and have been re-telling the stories of radiotherapy patients to remind the Andrews Labor Government of the need for services locally,” Ms Lovell said.
“While this GenesisCare project is not being funded by the State Government, the State Health Minister and her Government still have a role to play in providing the recurrent funding to ensure the delivery of equitable cancer services for all patients.
“That is why I have called on the Government to work with GenesisCare and provide a public/private partnership to ensure that all patients will be able to access any planned radiotherapy services in Shepparton,” Ms Lovell said.