Fraser Coast Oncology unit officially opens

Oceania Oncology chief radiologist therapist Claire Smith, director Dr Leon Gouws, state member Ted Sorensen and director Irwin Strous. Photo: Fraser Coast Chronicle/Hannah Baker
Oceania Oncology chief radiologist therapist Claire Smith, director Dr Leon Gouws, state member Ted Sorensen and director Irwin Strous. Photo: Fraser Coast Chronicle/Hannah Baker

OCEANIA Oncology has operated in a consultation capacity since late last year, and its official opening on May 15 was a low-key and dignified affair.

Attended by clinic staff and local politicians, the event celebrated the prospect of better treatment options for cancer patients across the Fraser Coast.

In the therapeutic hub in Medical Place, Urraween, the centre can treat up to 30 patients a day suffering from malignant solid tumours.

State Member for Hervey Bay Ted Sorenson was proud of the service.

"This centre will save lives as people here now don't have to travel to Brisbane," Mr Sorensen said.

The centre, which is equipped with a multi-million-dollar linear accelerator to deliver targeted radiation treatment, also has new computer equipment and state-of-the-art clinical software.

However, professionalism and commitment from staff were the greatest weapon against the disease, staff said.

Chief radiologist therapist Claire Smith said the collaboration of the Urraween unit and its sister in Bundaberg, helped the peer review of patient treatment to achieve the best possible outcome for patients.

"While scanning and treatment happens at the individual sites, the formulation of patient treatment plans can happen at both," Ms Smith said.

Business manager Jenny Kamst said Oceania Oncology staff felt honoured.

"The ethos for Oceania is to provide oncology and radiation treatment that is accessible to all," Ms Kamst said.

"The opening of this centre is like a dream fulfilled," she said.

The unit is expected to continue its close working relationship with Hervey Bay Hospital and St Stephen's Hospital.

An agreement is also in place with the Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service to provide treatment to public patients, Ms Kamst said.

"Our intention is to not have a waiting list," she said.


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