NEW FACILITY: Ray Johnson (operations director), Keith Pitt  and former cancer patient Sally Mackay .
NEW FACILITY: Ray Johnson (operations director), Keith Pitt and former cancer patient Sally Mackay . Alistair Brightman

Increased health care in Hervey Bay for cancer patients

UP TO 750 cancer patients will be treated every year at the new $17 million Hervey Bay Cancer Care Centre.

The facility created 30 jobs, including four clinical oncologists, who will provide chemotherapy and radiation cancer treatment for hundreds of people on the Fraser Coast

The centre in Medical Pl in Urraween has been treating patients for the past nine months, but is now operating at full capacity after its official opening. It has been in planning for seven years.

Federal member for Hinkler Keith Pitt was part of the plaque unveiling at the opening, as the Federal Government provided $9.3 million towards the cancer centre.

“I spoke to a number of patients about how important it was for them to not only receive quality care, but to be able to receive it in their own community,” Mr Pitt said.

Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service clinical director of cancer care services Ray Johnson said the new facility meant hundreds of people who could stay in the community for treatment.

Former patient Sally Mackay received treatment for breast cancer in Brisbane, the old cancer centre in Hervey Bay Hospital and in the new stand-alone centre. He said there was a stigma around getting treatment in Hervey Bay when she was first diagnosed more than a year ago.

“Everyone; patients, nurses, said ‘go to Brisbane if you want good treatment’,” Mrs Mackay said.

“But it makes such a difference to be close to your family; I would just text my husband when I was done and he would pick me up in 10 minutes.”


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