Oncology centre to open in Mandurah in big boost for Peel cancer patients

Cancer treatment: Dawesville resident Steve Batchelor and partner Doreen Wachmer travel to Rockingham regularly so he can receive radiotherapy at Icon Cancer Centre. Photo: Gareth McKnight
Cancer treatment: Dawesville resident Steve Batchelor and partner Doreen Wachmer travel to Rockingham regularly so he can receive radiotherapy at Icon Cancer Centre. Photo: Gareth McKnight

Mandurah’s first specialist cancer centre offering much-needed radiotherapy to Peel patients is set to open later this year or early in 2019, the Mail can reveal.

For Peel residents in need of radiotherapy treatment, the Icon Cancer Centre in Rockingham, which opened earlier this year, is the closest facility.

Radiotherapy services are also offered in Joondalup, Murdoch, Wembley and Bunbury, meaning Peel cancer patients must travel for treatment. Transport to and from Perth-based facilities is offered by Cancer Council.

However, Genesis Care WA plan to open a purpose-built oncology centre “within walking distance” of Peel Health Campus in the near future, according to general manager Michael Davis.

“Genesis Care has identified there is a need to increase access for oncology patients in the Peel region and we will be opening a facility late this year or early next year in Mandurah,” he said.

“There will be two radiation bunkers on site offering state-of-the-art radiation oncology services to provide comprehensive care to people in the Peel region.

“It is usually in the order of around $10 million to put something like this together – we are just really pleased to be able to bring services closer to home for people that need it.”

Mr Davis said Genesis would work closely with Peel Health Campus and other service providers, while the necessary approvals were in place.

Dawesville resident Steve Batchelor travels regularly to the Icon Centre in Rockingham for radiotherapy as treatment for lung cancer.

He said he was glad to be able to receive treatment closer to home than travelling into Perth.

“With the driving, cost of parking, fuel up and back to Perth – it would kill you,” he said.

“It’s not perfect – it is still almost an hour’s drive for us each way – but it is so much better than going up to Perth.”

A South Metropolitan Health Service spokeswoman said chemotherapy was provided at Peel Health Campus.

“Patients within the south metropolitan catchment requiring radiation oncology treatment will be seen at Fiona Stanley Hospital,” she said.

“Patients referred for radiotherapy cancer treatment are seen within a week of referral and treatment commenced soon after. Emergency cases are accommodated immediately.

“In the past year, more than 2220 new patients have been cared for by the SMHS radiation oncology service with a patient satisfaction rate at more than 91 per cent.

“Radiation oncology services are also available through private providers and any decisions regarding location and services delivered are made by those businesses.”