Portland Chemotherapy Service Officially Opened

Mr Dan Tehan, Member for Wannon and Christine Giles, CEO of PDH
Chris Giles-CEO, Anita Rank-Board director, Michelle Kearney-Board director
Mr Dan Tehan & Anita Rank
Friday, 10 October 2014
Portland’s new chemotherapy unit is helping local people to receive services closer to home and avoid trips to Geelong or Warrnambool.

The unit was officially opened on October 9 but has already delivered nearly 60 treatments since starting on July 1, well above initial targets.

While opening the unit on October 9, Member for Wannon Dan Tehan said it was helping local people to stay in their local community.

We need to bring these much-needed services to our communities as efficiently and effectively as we can, he said.

To have these services in Portland is terrific.

Mr Tehan said he had met earlier in the day with local residents who had previously needed to travel to Warrnambool and Geelong for their chemotherapy treatment.

Visiting Geelong meant an overnight stay and Warrnambool is more than an hour each way. Now they can do it here. You can see how much it means to be able to come here and have the service locally.

PDH CEO Chris Giles said the unit was an important service for the Portland community.

It has been a concerted effort between Portland District Health, South West Healthcare, Barwon Health Cancer Services, South West Oncology and Barwon South Western Regional Integrated Cancer Services (BSWRICS) to work cooperatively to make this possible, Ms Giles said.

Now that we've got it over the line, it's working very well, she said.

Oncologist Dr Ian Collins from South West Oncology said unfortunately cancer was common and many people in regional areas have to travel for chemotherapy treatment.

It would be nice if it wasn’t needed but it is and this community is fortunate to have this service here,” Dr Collins said.

We've had nearly 60 patient treatments since the service opened three months ago. With a round trip of two and a half hours to Warrnambool that's a big time saving for those people and their loved ones who travel with them,he said.

Chemotherapy was recognised as being desperately needed in the Portland area and the demand has certainly proved that to be correct,Ms Giles said.

The new service fits with the Victorian Cancer Action Plan which aims to deliver care to patients as close to home as possible and has been facilitated by the Barwon South Western Regional Integrated Cancer Service.

PDH nursing staff have undergone extensive training to support the delivery of chemotherapy.

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