Peter's Project committee inspects Ballarat cancer-care centre

ELEMENTS of Ballarat’s state-of-the-art cancer-care site will provide inspiration for a similar Warrnambool centre following an inspection yesterday.

Peter’s Project committee members toured the Ballarat Regional Integrated Cancer Centre (BRICC) as they work to shape what a south-west  centre will look like.

The $55 million centre was opened by Premier Denis Napthine in July and has the capacity to provide care to 800 patients across a large catchment area, some of whom hail from the south-west.

Peter’s Project director Vicki Jellie said the Ballarat site was impressive and one of the best examples of regional cancer care in Australia.

She said the committee noted the equipment, design and function of the multi-million-dollar facility.

“It was a very informative tour. We were shown all the ins and outs of the centre,” Mrs Jellie said. “It wasn’t just about what equipment they had and all the latest technology.

“Ballarat has made a real effort not to make the centre look too clinical. There’s plenty of colour, not just all stark and white, which is important when you consider that you want to make patients feel as comfortable as they can be, given the circumstances.”

Committee members including Vern Robson, Glenys Phillpot, Alan Simpson and Eric Fairbank were given a first-hand look at the Ballarat site and had the opportunity to discuss operations with the BRICC management.

BRICC director Arrin Wislang said the group asked plenty of pertinent questions. He said the tour provided the most up-to-date examination of regional cancer care.

“Regional cities really do value their health services and you can see that passion from the people we met from Peter’s Project,” Mr Wislang said.

“All the committee members were well informed and already knew about some of what we’d been doing in Ballarat. Once the Warrnambool centre is operational, it’ll save a lot of travelling time for cancer patients.”

The first major cancer centre tour by Peter’s Project was held in Wagga Wagga in June 2009, when the community campaign was still in its infancy.

“We were discussing that afterwards, about how much has changed when we visited Wagga four-and-a-half years ago,” Mrs Jellie said.

Peter’s Project Target $5 million reached the $3.75 million mark this week. Donations can be made at a number of points throughout the south-west, with more information online at www.petersproject.org.au/

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