Cancer patients will have easier access to Dubbo Hospital after the launch of a new transport service.
From Monday, Cancer Council NSW will be running Transport to Treatment. The service will provide transport patients living with two hours of Dubbo to their treatment.
More than 50 local volunteers have put up their hands to drive the car.
Dubbo Oncology Unit nursing unit manager Tim Williams said the much-needed service had been a long-time coming.
“The patients will not have to rely on family members or friends to drive them here and that saves a big expense on the pockets of those family members and friends. They also get to meet these great volunteers and have a good yarn along the way,” Mr Williams said.
At the moment Mr Williams said patients were often using public transport to get them to their treatment. The new service would ensure they didn’t have to stay the night in Dubbo while they wait for transport but can be home with family and friends, he said.
Cancer Council Western NSW community programs coordinator Camilla Thompson said there was a similar program operating in Orange which was under huge demand.
“We’ve got two cars pretty much jam packed full everyday, Monday to Friday,” she said.
There’s currently only one Transport to Treatment car operating in Dubbo, but Ms Thompson said she hoped another would be added towards the end of the year.
Volunteer Liz Lambell said she hoped the service would alleviate some of the travelling expenses for cancer patients and their families.
“I’ve had first hand experience of the travel. I used to live a few hours out of town and to come in and go home daily, it’s an exhausting thing for family. If I can relieve some of that it would be really handy,” she said.
Ian Lumby said it was his daughter who had prompted him to volunteer as a driver.
He said he thought it would be a great way to help people who were in need, while also giving him something to do with his time.
“We’ve got the vehicle, we’ve got the people, we can do it,” he said.
Mr Williams said he was “over the moon” excited to be able to introduce the service in Dubbo.
The car was given to the Cancer Council from the Honda Foundation. It will be funded through events like the Orana Relay for Life.