Dubbo cancer centre designs unveiled

The first glimpse of a facility that will bring “world-class health care” to cancer patients in western NSW has gone on show to communities crying out for it.

The $35 million Western Cancer Centre took a major step forward on Monday as schematic designs were unveiled at Dubbo Hospital.

The integrated cancer centre will include 16 chemotherapy spaces, a bunker for radiation treatment and a PET CT scanner for cancer diagnostics.

But that’s not the only way it will contribute to the wellness of patients.

Space, privacy and natural light were three tenets on show in the designs and highlighted by Health Infrastructure (HI) and clinicians.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian attended the design launch, having minutes earlier turned the sod of the fourth stage of Dubbo Hospital’s $150 million redevelopment.

Construction of the cancer centre will occur in parallel with stage four of the redeveloment.

Consultant oncologist Dr Florian Honeyball provided comment as the “fly-through” played.

He said there were three tenets the artist had tried to capture, the first being space, “so people can have their families” near them.

Privacy and natural light were also key.

“The sense of natural light, which adds to the wellness, which is really the ethos of the new cancer centre, to provide highly complex cancer services but within the ethos of wellness,” Dr Honeyball said.

HI chief executive Sam Sangster told the Daily Liberal the unveiling of the schematic design was an important moment.

“It’s really that first time we show publicly all the design work that’s been going on, the really extensive consultation with clinicians and the community and the consumers of the service you’ve heard today,” he said.

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He said they still expected construction to be finished by 2020.

“In the next four years we’ll be delivering about $8 billion of infrastructure [across NSW],” Mr Sangster said.

“We’re running all of our program at the moment on schedule and on budget, and it’s a great privilege to keep doing that out here in Dubbo.

“So yes, it’s all on track.”

He highlighted the “extra space around the chairs” of patients receiving treatment, and the surroundings.

“Natural light is a really important part of the therapeutic environment, giving people something to look out over the lovely views that exist from where we’re positioning it in that part of the Dubbo Hospital site,” he said.

Ms Berejiklian acknowledged community members and clinicians gathered for the launch for being “such strong advocates” for the centre.

“The new cancer centre is extremely exciting because we appreciate at the moment what families go through to travel those long distances to get the help for a loved one in need,” she said.

“But what I love about the new centre is the space available for families and supporters, but also what it means for someone receiving that really important care.”

Dubbo MP Troy Grant said the cancer centre, funded with $10 million from the state government and $25 million from the federal government would be a “game-changer”.

He also recognised the work of the Dubbo Health Council and the Rotary Club of Dubbo West to “rally the community behind elevating the priority”.

Parkes MP Mark Coulton said the new cancer centre would significantly improve health outcomes and quality of life for cancer patients living in rural and remote areas of western NSW.

“Previously these patients were often required to travel large distances to Orange or Sydney for their treatment,” he said.