Changes possible for oncology services in Southern health district

OLD WARD: Ron and Tralee Snape saying goodbye to the old Moruya oncology ward back in 2015.
OLD WARD: Ron and Tralee Snape saying goodbye to the old Moruya oncology ward back in 2015.

The couple who fought to bring the new oncology ward to the Moruya District Hospital are worried changes to service could interrupt care.

Tralee and Ron Snape of Tilba heard during Tralee’s annual check up that the Southern NSW Local Health District was about to change services to cancer patients by replacing existing visiting specialists with new doctors from St Vincent's Hospital Sydney.

The 2015 Eurobodalla Citizens of the Year understand changes would impact on oncology services provided at Bega, Goulburn and Moruya.

“We want and demand continuity of service to us,” Mr Snape said. “We have faith in our specialist and we have stem cells collected and stored in Canberra if needed .

“We understand our specialist and the direction we are going. We speak about it on every visit. Our specialist is one of the leaders in the world and a lecturer at university. Who would want to change?

“To provide more service is only expected and required by future patients but to get rid of existing service providers is unfathomable.”

A spokesperson for the Southern NSW Local Health District said oncology services were currently delivered by cancer specialists from the ACT to the health district.

While these services will continue to be delivered at Moruya and elsewhere in the health district, the spokesperson said the health district was continually exploring options to further improve oncology and haematology services.

“Our primary focus is on enhancing the oncology service provided by ACT cancer specialists,” the spokesperson said.

“This will ensure we are keeping up with demand across the district and providing the highest level of care to our patients, as close to home as possible.

“Regular meetings between the district and the cancer specialists guarantee we improve access to local cancer services and minimise the travel burden on patients.”