Wimmera Cancer Centre receives $1.6 million cash injection

RAPT: Don McRae, Don Johns, Mark Knights and Amelia Crafter celebrate yesterday's funding announcement. Picture: Samantha Camarri

RAPT: Don McRae, Don Johns, Mark Knights and Amelia Crafter celebrate yesterday's funding announcement. Picture: Samantha Camarri

THE Wimmera Cancer Centre build will occur in one stage, and will provide oncology, dialysis and community-based palliative care, after the state government yesterday pledged a further $1.6 million to the project.

Wimmera Health Care Group acting chief executive Mark Knights said it was an exciting day for the organisation. 

“From the day we launched the campaign to build the new centre, we have received nothing but support from the communities of the Wimmera and southern Mallee and everyone should feel extremely proud of the effect they have had,” he said.

“This centre will have a huge impact on the future health of our community.

“We have worked closely with the Health Minister Jill Hennessy and the Department of Health and Human Services and they have always supported the project and acknowledged its importance.

“Through fundraising we have also made strong connections with the community and we want to thank everyone who has been involved again.”

Member for Lowan Emma Kealy said the community’s hard work had paid off.

“It is so important to have high quality services in regional Victoria and now our health outcomes will improve – it’s an amazing outcome,” she said.

Ms Kealy said the community had banded together to secure this funding for an “extremely important” cause. 

“An enormous amount of work has gone into this and people are so passionate about it,” she said.

“We have some of the worst cancer rates in the state.”

The centre will include nine new day chemotherapy chairs, a wellness service, six renal dialysis chairs and modern accommodation for palliative care services.

Cancer has the highest incidence of any disease in the Wimmera and southern Mallee.

Wimmera Health Care Group’s oncology unit will treat a total of 2300 patients this year.

Construction for the Wimmera Cancer Centre is expected to start in November.

The state government contributed $2.6m, the federal government $1m and the wider community $1.4m.

  • SPECIAL STORY, Page 14

This centre will have a huge impact on the future health of our community. - Mark Knights

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