Cancer centre on advance

Dr Florian Honeyball and Dr Colin McClintock give a presentation at the Rotary Club of Dubbo West on Wednesday night. Photo contributed.
Dr Florian Honeyball and Dr Colin McClintock give a presentation at the Rotary Club of Dubbo West on Wednesday night. Photo contributed.

Doctors involved in the development of the Dubbo Hospital’s cancer care centre have told advocates for the project that planning on the design and facilities is well advanced.

Dr Florian Honeyball and Dr Colin McClintock briefed members of the Rotary Club of Dubbo West, which was instrumental in the campaign to get the centre included in the hospital upgrade, on the project’s ongoing progress.

Rotarian Lyn Smith said the doctors told the audience, which included other Rotarians, that a clinical services plan has already been developed and will be the basis for further planning, which is progressing through design stages.

Dr McClintock assured them planning was taking place now with input from the doctors.

“The doctors are eager to improve the quality of life of people affected by cancer and other chronic diseases. They would like to see a wellness centre established to provide ancillary therapies to assist those people. It would also would provide services such as a wig library, gym, dietician classes,” Ms Smith said.

She said the doctors explained the centre will have: a 15-chair chemotherapy unit; chemotherapy using remote video assistance at distant sites such as Coonabarabran and potentially Walgett, Bourke and Cobar; a linear accelerator for radiotherapy, a PET-CT scanner for better diagnosis; a clinical trials unit; cutting edge treatments only available now in Sydney; and possibly a nuclear medicine service and orthovoltage radiotherapy (superficial radiation for skin cancers to avoid surgery).

“The doctors expressed admiration for the generosity and commitment of all the communities in the region to the centre which was demonstrated in the campaign. The people who attended this meeting were eager to hear about ways in which the community can continue to support the development of first class medical facilities for people in Western NSW.

“Two years ago the doctors first addressed Rotary Club of Dubbo West members to explain the need for a $3 million PET-CT scanner to serve the people of Western NSW.

“Members were eager to raise community awareness of the need and to lobby governments to provide funds. That campaign developed and set its sights on obtaining government funding to incorporate a centre in the upgrade of the hospital to provide accessible cancer diagnosis and treatment for people living in Western NSW,” Ms Smith said.