The Liberal Member for Northern Victoria Wendy Lovell has used the ongoing cancer journey of local Shepparton woman Rosie Roberts, who starts a course of radiotherapy treatment in Bendigo early next year, to call on the State Government to ensure any planned radiotherapy facility in Shepparton is accessible to all patients in need of the treatment.
Speaking during an adjournment debate in State Parliament recently, Ms Lovell said her story is yet another example of why the proposed radiotherapy services must be supported by the State Government to ensure all patients are provided full access to the facility.
“Without the State Government entering into an agreement with GenesisCare and providing full public access to the planned Shepparton facility, Rosie would still be forced to travel to Bendigo for treatment at a public centre,” Ms Lovell said.
“Rosie and many other patients like her would simply be unable to afford the cost of receiving treatment in Shepparton.”
Ms Lovell said ensuring local radiotherapy treatment was accessible to all patients was now her main focus and the pressure was on the Andrews Labor Government to deliver for local patients like Rosie.
“The GenesisCare run Albury Cancer Centre receives funding for full public access to services and this is the level of funding needed for any future radiotherapy service in Shepparton,” Ms Lovell said.
“Thankfully, Rosie’s prognosis is very bright and I wish her the very best with her course of radiotherapy in the New Year and thank her for sharing her story with me.”
Rosie Roberts is a 45 year old wife and mother of two children, a son aged 12 and a daughter aged 9. Rosie and her family live in Shepparton and she works three days a week locally as a data entry person.
In late March of this year, Rosie was diagnosed with breast cancer and in April commenced six months of intensive chemotherapy at GV Health. Upon completion of this treatment four weeks ago, Rosie underwent a lumpectomy to remove the remains of the tumour.
Since her operation four weeks ago, Rosie has been building her strength in preparation for a course of radiotherapy commencing in early January. Rosie will receive daily radiotherapy every Monday to Friday for three weeks and due to a lack of services locally will be forced to travel to Bendigo.
As her husband works full-time and she has no family support available, Rosie has no choice but to drive each day over to Bendigo for her treatment and be home in time to care for her children after school. Receiving her treatment in Bendigo also means that Rosie will be unable to work and will have no income for the three weeks.
Rosie wanted to tell her story to help get radiotherapy services established in Shepparton and welcomes the recent announcement that radiotherapy services will eventually be established in Shepparton, saying these services are well overdue. Rosie also stressed the importance of the GenesisCare facility being adequately funded by the State Government because without this she would not be able to afford treatment in Shepparton and would still be forced to travel to public access facilities like Bendigo.