Patients from regional Victoria needing life-saving blood cancer treatment in Melbourne will now have a home away from home thanks to the Andrews Labor Government.
The 2016/17 Victorian Budget will provide $500,000 to support the Leukaemia Foundation to finalise its patient accommodation centre in Flemington.
As part of the project, 15 apartments are being built across the road from the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre and close to other specialist hospitals.
Currently, regional and rural Victorians diagnosed with acute blood cancers can’t access the specialist treatment they need close to their homes.
Instead, they travel to Melbourne regularly for long periods to get the treatment they require. This places a significant burden not only on the patients, but their families as well.
The average length of treatment for acute leukaemia is six to eight months, and together with their families, the average length of stay in Melbourne for patients from regional and rural Victoria is four months.
The apartments – a mix of one and two bedrooms – will be able to accommodate families who travel with the patients.
The complex has been specifically designed for blood cancer patients undergoing treatment, with specialised modifications to support patients to stay safe and free of infection.
The new centre will complement other accommodation provided by the Leukaemia Foundation, which at any one time can have up to 20 rural families on a waiting list for accommodation support.
The facility will also provide patients with support services by a team of specialised staff, including haematology and oncology nurses and allied health professionals available, plus patient counselling.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Health Jill Hennessy
“The last thing we want is for Victorians undergoing cancer treatment to be separated from their family and loved ones.”
“Leukaemia patients from regional Victoria coming to Melbourne for treatment now don’t have to worry about where to stay, or whether their family can come with them.”
“Being able to stay across the road from the new Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre will mean regional leukaemia patients can access our best and brightest minds and cutting edge cancer treatment.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020