Liberal Member for Northern Victoria Wendy Lovell has once again highlighted the need for radiotherapy services at Goulburn Valley Health, citing statistics on the number of local cancer patients travelling outside the area to receive the life-saving treatment.
Speaking during an adjournment debate in parliament, Ms Lovell said that research on the amount of patients living in the Goulburn Valley that travel to receive radiotherapy treatment reinforced the need to have these services available locally at GV Health.
“Over a two year period from 2011 – 2013, 614 cancer patients from the Goulburn Valley Health catchment area were forced to travel away from home to receive life-saving radiotherapy treatment,” Ms Lovell said.
“Not only do they have to leave home and travel long distances, patients face the frightening prospect of treatment without the vital comfort and support of loving family and friends.”
Of the 614 patients, 297 were residents of Greater Shepparton and 244 resided in Moira Shire. 73 patients came from Strathbogie; the three local government areas making up the bulk of Goulburn Valley Health’s patient catchment.
Ms Lovell said the total number of cancer patients within this catchment area clearly supports local radiotherapy services at GV Health and the figures had only increased since 2013.
“The numbers tell the story, the patients tell the story and the health professionals tell the story and it is time the Andrews Labor Government listened and provided the treatment services local cancer patients need,” Ms Lovell said.
“That is why I will continue to call on the Health Minister and the Andrews Government to provide a commitment to establish and fund appropriate radiotherapy services at Goulburn Valley Health.”