Peninsula and Southeast Oncology has evolved from what was an initial response to the lack of radiation services for cancer patients on the Peninsula. The distance our patients were required to travel for necessary, life-saving treatments and therapies was deterring them from receiving treatment at all. Developing comprehensive cancer services for the region became one of the main driving factors in the development of Frankston Private.
After several unsuccessful attempts to get a radiation centre in the public sector, it was decided to approach a private service provider; Radiation Oncology Victoria. It became clear that there was a need for this service in the area, but Radiation Oncology Victoria could not function without a centre that provided all of the infrastructure necessary for them to provide a good service (i.e. diagnostic services, day surgical procedures, consulting rooms, laboratories and other support services).
After considering all of these factors, groups that were able to provide pathology services, radiology services and several specialist consulting groups were approached and eventually there was a consensus that a number of these groups would make a commitment to operate out of the centre.
The centre was designed from “the inside out” based on the highly technical requirements of the radiation department, radiology (including nuclear medicine and PET imaging, MRI scans), day theatres and day oncology centres. It also became clear that there was a need for some meeting rooms where multi-disciplinary discussions could be held and treatments for patients planned.
We received tremendous community support from cancer support groups who approached the local politicians and the city councils to try to facilitate the approval processes. There were discussions held with both public and private hospitals in the area to collaborate on providing support services for cancer patients who might end up having treatments at Frankston Private. Eventually, agreements were put into place in 2005 at which time construction began. Construction was completed in August 2006 when the building was opened by the Minister of Health. The centre has operated ever since and has gradually reached peak operating capacity over the last 3 years as the demand for services has grown and an increasing number of treatments have taken place.
Looking to the future, it has become clear that there is a need for over-night beds as well. An agreement has been reached with Healthscope to operate a hospital which will initially consist of 80-90 beds with a potential to reach up to 180 beds over the next several years (depending on demand and growth). With the new in-patient facilities there will be number of new operating theatres that will be capable of highly complex surgeries and capable of housing the latest technology.
It is PASO’s history with Frankston Private that is echoed through our continued dedication to ensuring that our patients have convenient access to the highest quality of essential treatments and therapies.