Oncology unit set to go

THE development of the Central Gippsland Health Service oncology will go ahead now the fundraising target has been reached.

A $150,000 donation from dairy co-operative Murray Goulburn brings the fundraising total to the $1.2 million target.

With the target reached, the extension of the CGHS oncology wing in Sale can begin next year.

The project will more than double the availability of chemotherapy treatments which can be provided locally, further reducing the need for patients fighting cancer to travel to Melbourne for treatment.

In making the announcement alongside CGHS vice chair Tony Anderson and chief executive officer Dr Frank Evans, MG chairman Philip Tracy paid tribute to the CGHS team for spearheading the fundraising to bring better access to locally based cancer treatments to the Gippsland community.

“We applaud the tireless efforts of (Frank) Evans, the CGHS team and the Gippsland community who have invested their time and energy in a cause that will offer a vital service and important support to the Gippsland community,” he said.

“It is our privilege, with this donation, to be a part of these fundraising efforts and in doing so, play a role in significantly improving future local access to cancer treatment in Gippsland.

“The Gippsland community makes an enormous contribution to MG, be it via our Gippsland dairy farmer suppliers, those MG employs across the region or the support our Devondale products receive and so we are very proud to make this contribution towards the new oncology wing, for the benefit of local patients.

“MG has been an integral part of the Gippsland community, in one form or another, for more than 100 years and our donation today is a further example of our ongoing commitment to this dynamic and important region of Victoria.”

“This cheque for $150,000 is the final piece in the jigsaw needed for us to start the project and we are extremely grateful to MG for their generosity,” Mr Anderson said.

“The general appeal has been ongoing for several years and CGHS is grateful to the general public for supporting fundraising events and for also supporting the general appeal.

“While we expect the redevelopment to start early next year, we will continue to fundraise for furnishings needed to equip the unit.”

Mr Anderson said because of the overwhelming public support, CGHS could now increase chemotherapy treatments in Sale and provide a facility to greatly benefit local patients and their families.