Push builds for radiotherapy unit
A GROUP of high-profile Northern Rivers politicians inspected a new Cancer Care Unit in Coffs Harbour yesterday, with hopes a duplicate radiotherapy centre could be provided at Lismore Base Hospital.
The tour of the facility, organised by Rural Health Priority Taskforce chairwoman Elizabeth Rummery, included the State Members for Lismore and Ballina, Thomas George and Don Page, and preselected National Party candidate for the Federal seat of Page, Chris Gulaptis.
Ms Rummery said seeing the high-tech facility at Coffs Harbour had strengthened the group's determination to have a similar, if not better, service built for Northern Rivers cancer sufferers at the Lismore Base Hospital as soon as possible.
"The proposal to build a radiotherapy facility on the grounds of a private hospital (in Lismore) appears to have resulted from the frustration felt in some quarters about the timetable for the Lismore Base Hospital redevelopment," Ms Rummery said.
"But it is essential that cancer treatment services be provided in an integrated way, with radiation oncology, chemotherapy and haematology all under the one roof."
At present, local cancer patients requiring radiotherapy must make the frequent and tiring journey to Brisbane or the Gold Coast to receive a treatment which lasts only minutes.