CHEMOTHERAPY services are continuing at Bass Coast Health’s Wonthaggi Hospital but in a new location as the hospital prepares for COVID-19 patients.

Cancer patients are now receiving treatment in the dental clinic in the hospital’s Allied Health building, after the dental clinic was closed to minimise everyone’s exposure to COVID-19.

Chemotherapy was previously administered in the Sleeman Ward, which is now being transformed to make way for medical and high dependency unit patients.

Beginning in late January this year, the integrated cancer unit has now treated a number of cancer patients with chemotherapy and immunotherapy. Patients with auto-immune conditions also receive immunotherapy.

Chemotherapy is a new service to Bass Coast Health, said nurse unit manager of the integrated cancer unit, Pat McCabe.

“We are trying to start slowly with patients who are responding to their treatment with little to no history of infusion-related reactions,” he said.

Patient Mark Robertson of Wonthaggi is receiving treatment for lymphoma at Wonthaggi Hospital, and appreciates not having to travel to Monash and Austin hospitals in Melbourne as he did previously.

“This is so good to have here. I’ve not been able to work for so long and that has impacted me financially,” he said.

“You have to pay to park at Monash hospital and getting out of there at 5pm and hitting peak hour traffic is no fun at all. To be able to have this treatment just three to four minutes from home is just fantastic.

“The venue is good but it’s the people who are what it’s all about.”