Deniliquin's chemotherpy service, which was expected to start seeing patients in August, is yet to be officially opened.By Zoe McMaugh
Deniliquin Oncology Outreach Unit is not yet fully operational, despite advice the service would be seeing patients from August.
Construction of the unit was completed in the first half of this year after funding was received in May 2011.
In July, when construction was completed, then Murrumbidgee Local Health District (MLHD) acting director of operations Ken Hampson told the Pastoral Times the service would start seeing patients by August.
MLHD group manager, Border, Rosemary Garthwaite, however, has confirmed the unit will not be available to patients until at least next month.
‘‘The Deniliquin Oncology Outreach Unit will start treating its first patients early in the new year,’’ she said.
‘‘The unit is ready and nursing staff have been working the last several weeks to fine tune equipment and operational procedures.
‘‘The unit will initially operate every Friday and medical oncologist bi-monthly visits to Deniliquin will continue as normal.
‘‘The outreach clinic is for patients who are receiving treatment by Border Medical Oncology (BMO) in Wodonga.
‘‘These patients will be assessed for their suitability to receive treatment at the unit by their medical oncologist.
‘‘Patients will have their care jointly managed by their treating medical oncologist and local GP.’’
The new service, located in the day surgery unit of Deniliquin Health Service, has been made possible through a $300,000 innovation grant from the Cancer Institute NSW.
The Naponda Hospital Auxiliary, Mayrung Hospital Auxiliary and Deniliquin Community Group supplied the funds to purchase the chemotherapy chairs, and have more funds in reserve for future oncology needs.
This month, Naponda Hospital Auxiliary provided another $19,700 for the centre.
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