Patients undergoing radiation treatment at the new Mildura Health Icon Cancer Centre will be even better supported following the establishment of Mildura Health Foundation Limited.
The first project of the Foundation is to build 10 self-contained accommodation apartments just 200m from the Mildura Health Icon Cancer Centre (MHICC) in Thirteenth Street, Mildura.
The aim is to provide patients from outlying areas such as Ouyen, Robinvale, Swan Hill, Broken Hill and Renmark easily accessible patient accommodation, to reduce the financial stress for cancer patients and allow them to focus on their treatment and recovery, rather than where to stay for the night if they live outside Mildura.
The apartments will be available to private and public patients who are receiving radiation treatment at MHICC, free of charge or at a low cost after State Government Rebates.
Mildura Health Foundation chair Terry Hill said patient accommodation was an essential part of the cancer journey, particularly for patients who live more than 80km outside of Mildura.
“If they didn’t have the support of the accommodation, they would have to find their own accommodation and be away from their family…and unfortunately often this type of treatment can go on for five days a week, for six weeks,” Mr Hill said.
“The other part of it is that there are people who don’t want to travel outside the district for treatment and would rather go without treatment than go to Adelaide, Melbourne or Bendigo.”
The self-contained and fully furnished one and two bedroom apartments will include creature comforts such as a kitchenette for home cooked meals, a lounge area for relaxation, TV and WIFI for entertainment, with all linen and towels provided so that patients, their families and carers, can walk into a comfortable and safe setting and relax.
Cancer incidence and mortality in Mildura ranks higher than the Victorian average, making it critical that local cancer patients have access to treatment and accommodation options closer to home, to improve the poor cancer outcomes experienced between the city and country.
“We are well on the way to addressing this issue with the establishment of MHICC’s radiation bunker, which has already led to additional oncology specialists coming to town. The new apartments are anticipated to bring even more specialists to town, benefiting the wider community,” Mr Hill said.
The Foundation’s goal is to make a positive difference in the community and ensure those undergoing cancer treatment have access to the very best facilities and are well-supported.
“I’ve been through that journey myself and if we can relieve some anxiety for people, then that’s something we need to do, this is a vital part of the cancer journey,” Mr Hill said.
Mildura Health Foundation is a registered charity and aims to raise $5 million for the accommodation project through donations and grants.
The Foundation has been set up by Mildura Health which incorporates Mildura Health Fund (MHF) and Mildura Health Private Hospital.
“Having a private health insurer in a regional area like Mildura is unique and provides a strong catalyst to drive health outcomes in this community,” Mr Hill said.
“There is no health fund as remote as MHF and this is where, with the support of members, we can make real changes to our health landscape.”
Land has been purchased for the Mildura Health Foundation patient accommodation at 202-206 Thirteenth Street, Mildura.
To donate, or for further information about Mildura Health Foundation, please visit www.mhfoundation.com.au