Bringing cancer treatment ‘closer to home’

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Flinders MP Greg Hunt at The bay Hospital, Mornington to announce a $12.6 million budget allocation for a new cancer centre and to redevelop the Alexandra park pavilion for health and wellness services. Picture: Cameron McCullough

Cancer patients could be treated in Mornington within two years.

The federal government has allocated $10 million in this week’s budget for a cancer treatment centre to be built at The Bays Hospital.

The hospital’s CEO Elena Allen on Friday was “fully optimistic” the new centre could up and running in 18 months to two years if the hospital could raise another $10 million.

“I’m thrilled about members of the Mornington Peninsula being able to be treated close to home,” she said.

In 2016, 17,470 people living in the Frankston and on the peninsula were treated for a cancer or haematology diagnosis. By 2032, that number is expected to increase to 29,029.

Ms Allen said there was already an oncology service at Beleura Private Hospital in Mornington “but what we’re planning is a comprehensive centre, a one-stop shop” that would offer patients surgery, treatment, “recovery and palliation”.

The new centre would bring together all services already available at The Bays, including breast and prostate cancer support nurses.

“We will work with services already available on the peninsula, including opportunities to work with Peninsula Health,” Ms Allen said.

Flinders MP and Health Minister Greg Hunt was at The Bays to announce the government’s budget inclusion along with $2.6 million for redeveloping the pavilion at Alexandra Park in main Street, Mornington “for rehabilitation services and new community-focused health and wellbeing programs”. 

Mr Hunt said Mornington Peninsula Shire Council and football clubs “will also contribute a similar amount for a full redevelopment of the current pavilion at Alexandra Park”.

He said the pavilion project would include a rehabilitation centre; promote healthy living, wellness and lifestyle choices; provide access to orthopaedic surgeons, sports specialists and allied health professionals; offer opportunities to partner with Peninsula Health in the provision of health and wellness programs; and increased community utilisation of the redeveloped facility.

The federal government has previously said money would also go to Rosebud Hospital “for trials to treat cancer and rare diseases closer to home”.    

See: “Budget holds $32m for Peninsula Health Partners” The News, 2 April 2019

First published in the Mornington News – 2 April 2019

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