A MAJOR step forward in the long-awaited push for better cancer treatment facilities in the south-west is expected soon with an announcement of the successful tender to build and operate a $30m radiotherapy centre in Warrnambool.
Two official proposals from three health industry entities have been lodged with Victorian Department of Health for evaluation.
The tenders were submitted by Epworth HealthCare and a joint bid by Barwon Health and GenesisCare.
A department spokesman told The Standard this week the process was expected to be finalised and an operator appointed by September.
“The South West Radiotheraphy Centre will ensure patients with cancer from communities of south-west Victoria are able to receive treatment close to home,” the spokesman said.
Peter’s Project fund-raising director Vicki Jellie hoped an announcement would be made by August.
“It will be a major step and we can work towards completion of this project,” she said.
“When construction gets under way there will be jobs created and people will be able to see where their donations are going.”
The Peter’s Project campaign raised $5 million in nine months as the local share of the estimated $30m project which includes $15m from the state government and $10 from the federal government.
A site on Ryot Street opposite Warrnambool Base Hospital has been cleared for the new cancer facility which will include radiotherapy bunkers and associated specialised equipment enabling south-west residents to receive treatment previously only available at Geelong, Ballarat and Melbourne.