PDH Chemo Continues to Offer A Free And Close To Home Service

Nursing Staff - Val Keys, Kylie Legg & Lisa Barby
General
Thursday, 3 August 2017
Portland district people battling cancer are continuing to appreciate a free, close-to-home chemotherapy service.

Portland District Health’s chemotherapy service has now delivered 285 treatments and visiting oncologist Dr Ian Collins has undertaken 40 inpatient reviews last financial year.

Acting Nurse Unit Manager Lisa Barby said demand for the service had far exceeded expectations.

People are very grateful for the local service,” Ms Barby said. It means they can have their chemotherapy treatment close to home and not have to worry about driving too far when they're not feeling well. At the very least they would have been driving to Warrnambool and back.

Along with Portland residents, the service is drawing people from Heywood and other surrounding regions and also across the South Australian border.

Chemotherapy is delivered for free every Thursday at PDH.

There are no out-of-pocket expenses for people using the chemotherapy service,” Ms Barby said.

Patients have free food and Wi-Fi service and medicine they use during their chemotherapy treatment in the hospital is also free.

There has been some discussion on social media that chemotherapy costs, but that isn't the case in Portland, Ms Barby said. There are no excess charges for private health insurance patients.

The service is available only for selected treatments but Ms Barby said there was continuing strong demand for places.

The service was opened in 2014 as a partnership between Portland District Health, South West Healthcare, Barwon Health Cancer Services, South West Oncology and Barwon South Western Regional Integrated Cancer Services.

PDH nursing staff have undergone extensive training to support the delivery of chemotherapy.

Physician and haematologist Dr Jennifer Brotchie is also providing a growing haematology service each Tuesday.

CEOP Chris Giles said the unit was providing an important service for the Portland community.

Patients have been very thankful for the local service. It saves people from having a three-hour drive, Ms Giles said.


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