Monday 01 April 2019

Bass Coast Health’s San Remo Op Shop Auxiliary has kicked off the health service’s WE CARE About Bass Coast Health fundraising campaign by committing an impressive fifty thousand dollars towards the development of a new cancer service at Wonthaggi Hospital.

As a sub-regional health service, one of Bass Coast Health’s key strategic goals is to further grow safe, high quality services to ensure people within the Bass Coast and South Gippsland catchments can receive more complex services locally. There are three key goals in this service growth over the coming 12 months – one of those is the development of a new cancer service; the second priority is the development of a contemporary paediatric program including the introduction of paediatric surgery and suitable paediatric inpatient amenities; and the third is the expansion of sub-acute services (rehabilitation, geriatric evaluation and management and palliative care), and the re-development of its beloved Armitage House.


To achieve this, Bass Coast Health has launched the ‘WE CARE about Bass Coast Health’ campaign and is asking the community to support its local health service.


Bass Coast Health CEO Jan Child said, “Many local individuals and businesses donate generous amounts to city-based health care organisations for welfare support, cancer care and paediatric care – just to name a few. Rather than asking our very caring community to donate more money, we are asking them to consider donating locally instead, to support their local health service. Our aim is to keep local dollars for local benefit!”


As part of this overall campaign, a number of specific fundraising appeals will commence for cancer care, paediatric care and palliative care. “Sadly, these are issues that touch all of us, or someone we love, at some point in time. There would hardly be a person who hasn’t known a sick child, a person suffering from cancer, or someone at the end of their life. Our goal is to grow our services so that these family members and loved ones can get their care locally, rather than having to travel to Melbourne Hospitals on a daily basis.  The inconvenience for patients and their families is paramount in our minds and we need to grow our services to achieve this”.


Bass Coast Health receives significant support from both the State and Commonwealth Governments in delivering care. Funding for nurses, allied health, cleaners and doctors is supported well.  The health service has also received significant support for projects such as the development of the Phillip Island Health Hub and Stage 1 of the Wonthaggi Hospital redevelopment, which will see a new Emergency Department, new operating theatres and a new inpatient ward. Bass Coast has also received significant State funding for a number of core infrastructure upgrades including chillers, boilers, fire sprinklers, water filtration works and electrical upgrades.  For other capital projects, Bass Coast Health relies on the generous support of the community.


“We are so thrilled by the generosity of the San Remo Op Shop Auxiliary’s donation. They are absolutely amazing. We hope their fifty thousand dollar cheque will spur on other local businesses and individuals to support more health services and encourage people to give locally, rather than to the city-based care campaigns”, said Ms Child.  “Don’t get me wrong – every public health service deserves to benefit from the generosity of their community. My point is that city hospitals have significantly more local community members to help them achieve their goals. We have but one community and without their support, our ability to achieve service growth is slower”, said Ms Child.


Bass Coast Health aims to create a contemporary cancer service that will include eight chemotherapy chairs, a six-bed inpatient unit, consulting rooms and an external healing garden. More local donations would mean Bass Coast Health could purchase more equipment and upgrade its infrastructure to grow its services – so that local people are able to access more health care closer to home.


“Cancer touches everyone at some point in their lives, and the Bass Coast and South Gippsland sub-region has one of the highest rates of some cancers in Australia. This new service will mean that local cancer sufferers and their families will no longer have to endure the exhaustion, separation from their loved ones, or costs associated with travelling long distances for treatment”, said Ms Child.


The new cancer service, due to kick off later this year, will eventually lead to the development of a satellite cancer service at Phillip Island. Once it has been up and running for a while, it is estimated that around 80% - 90% of local cancer sufferers will be able to access treatment locally.


Bass Coast Health has an Oncologist, malignant and non-malignant Haematologists to support this exciting development, and with the support of Alfred Health, Bass Coast Health will be able to provide safe, high quality cancer care within the Bass Coast Shire.


In addition to cancer specialists, Bass Coast Health’s existing cancer resources include a McGrath Breast Care Nurse.


A Cancer Service Steering Committee, including consumer representatives,  is being developed to shape and guide Bass Coast Health’s new cancer service to ensure it meets the specific needs of those living with cancer locally.


All donations are tax deductible and are guaranteed to be directed to much-needed cancer care, surgical care, palliative care and paediatric care. People can choose to make a donation in memory of a loved one.


Donations can be made:


For more information please call 5671 3372 or email

Pictured Above: Marj Wagland, Joan Ray, Marj Powell, Lorraine Inbritsen, Sandra Thorley, Helen Andrews and Sara Fleisner.