This World Cancer Day, the Mildura Health Icon Cancer Centre (MHICC) is opening its doors to the community, so they can witness for themselves just how much the facility has helped in closing the gap in cancer treatment for patients across Sunraysia and the wider regions.
The day will include a barbecue put on by local Rotarians, and a rare opportunity to view the state-of-the-art facility that allows radiation patients to be treated in Mildura, rather than travelling hundreds of kilometres as they have in the past, to access lifesaving treatment.
World Cancer Day, held on February 4 each year, is in the third and final year of its ‘Close the Care Gap’ campaign. The campaign is working to ensure everyone across the world has access to cancer care and are not denied basic health services due to issues such as geographical location, income, education or discrimination.
Cancer is the second-leading cause of death worldwide. The International Agency for Research on Cancer estimates that one-in-five men and one-in-six women worldwide will develop cancer over the course of their lifetime.
By 2040, the number of new cancer cases worldwide is expected to reach 30 million.
Icon Mildura Site Manager, Anita Erlandsen, said the establishment of MHICC was a prime example of taking action to close the cancer care gap, and everyone across the world should be afforded the same access to treatment.
“Not a day goes by where we do not have someone express their appreciation for being able to have their treatment, or a family member’s treatment, locally,” Ms Erlandsen said.
“This centre has addressed an inequality that existed for Sunraysia residents dealing with cancer. No longer is it a given that you have to leave your community and support network if you require radiation treatment."
The already well utilised MHICC has allowed cancer patients in Mildura and the surrounding regions to access radiation treatment for the first time, removing the barrier of having to travel to Adelaide, Bendigo or Melbourne.
Radiation treatment at MHICC is delivered by the Icon Group while Mildura Health Private Hospital provides a medical oncology service.
The modern oncology unit has been designed to meet the Australian Health Facility Guidelines for enhanced clinical oversight, with specially designed private oncology bays and additional chairs for greater treatment capacity for those undergoing chemotherapy treatment. Each bay is fitted with a flatscreen TV, views of the surrounding gardens and is located next to a dedicated nurse’s station.
The next step in providing access to cancer care locally is to give patients from outlying areas such as Ouyen, Robinvale, Swan Hill, Broken Hill and Renmark, somewhere to stay while undergoing radiation treatment at MHICC, for free or at a low-cost after State Government Rebates.
The Mildura Health Foundation is currently fundraising $3 million to build 10 self-contained accommodation apartments on land already purchased in Thirteenth Street, Mildura.
The open day at 3 Healthscope Court, Mildura, will run from 10am to 2pm on 4 February 2024, and will also be a fundraiser for the much-needed accommodation facility which is on track to break ground this year.
To register for the free event and book a tour of MHICC, visit www.mhfoundation.com.au or call MHICC on (03) 5001 8700.
Donations for Mildura Health Foundation can be made on the day, at Mildura Health Private Hospital, Mildura Health Fund, MHICC or via the above website.