Cancer patients to benefit from The Bays Budget boost

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Cancer patients in Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula will soon have access to centralised care after The Bays Hospital secured $12.6 million in the recent Federal Budget.

Up to $10 million of the funding will be used to construct a new Comprehensive Cancer Centre at The Bays, while the remaining $2.6 million will go towards the redevelopment of Alexandra Park Pavilion – across the road from The Bays – for rehabilitation services and community-focused health and wellbeing programs.

Chief executive officer of The Bays Healthcare Group, Elena Allen, said the funding announcement was very exciting.

“The two projects are really complementary,” she said.

“With the cancer centre, people will be able to have all their diagnostics, treatment, surgery and rehabilitation in one location.

“When people are ill, part of what they find the hardest to deal with is the commute – and also, having to go to one place for a scan and another place for something else – this centre will bring everything under one roof.

“The wellness centre will be across the road from The Bays and we’re looking to run health, education, rehabilitation and allied health programs there.”

The new cancer centre will provide:

  • Radiation oncology service
  • Consulting areas
  • Education and meeting space for community and GP’s
  • Consultation and education space for breast cancer and prostate cancer support nurses
  • Day infusion centre
  • Research facilities
  • 20-30 bed inpatient facility (stage two)
  • Partnerships in training

“International best practice in cancer therapy recognises that multi-disciplinary team management  gains the best results and provides patients with the best psychological support,” Mrs Allen said.

“Patients become familiar with the team and the environment, and the team is then better able to monitor the overall wellbeing of the patient.

“Significantly, the new Centre will also open the possibility for the treatment of public patients for cancer services at The Bays following productive discussions with Peninsula Health.”

Mrs Allen added she was thrilled with the development of the Alexandra Park Pavilion health and wellbeing services.

The local council and football clubs would also be contributing funding to the project.

“It’s a creative use of that space,” she said.

“As I’m sure you know, in most communities sporting facilities are used on weekends and for training a couple of times a week and that’s it.

“This will ensure the space is used 100 per cent of the time and it’s an opportunity for the community to come together and use the space and to also help the sporting community in recovery and with treatment.”

That project will aim to deliver:

  • Promotion of healthy living, wellness and better lifestyle choices
  • Access to orthopaedic surgeons, sports specialists and allied health professionals to keep active and maintain an active lifestyle
  • Opportunities to partner with Peninsula Health in the provision of health and wellness programs
  • Increased community utilisation of the redeveloped facility

In 2016, 17,470 people residing in the Frankston and Mornington Peninsula areas were treated for a cancer or haematology diagnosis. By 2032, that number is expected to increase to 29,029.

The Bays is a community based, not for profit organisation that has been in existence for 80 years.

It is also one of the last bush nursing hospitals in Victoria.

“I’m very proud of the work done here at The Bays and we’re very conscious of what the community wants from us,” Mrs Allen said.

“Our aim is to provide the Mornington Peninsula with world class, comprehensive cancer care and treatment in the one location and we hope to be around for another 80 years.”

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