Maitland, New South Wales – Local cancer patients, doctors, advocacy groups, and politicians, are today marking the official opening of GenesisCare’s integrated cancer care centre and research hub in Maitland, ahead of World Cancer Day on Friday.
The new treatment centre provides local oncology patients with access to seven senior doctors, with more than 75 years’ combined experience treating patients in Maitland, Newcastle and the Hunter region. Patients will be able to access radiation therapy, medical oncology, advanced imaging, pathology, and allied health services, in one convenient location.
GenesisCare Radiation Oncologist and Maitland Site Director, Associate Professor Peter O’Brien, said: “This centre is a game-changer for local cancer patients, who will be seen by a team of highly specialised doctors who have deep roots in the local community and established relationships with local specialists, advocacy groups, and research institutions.”
The integrated cancer centre builds on GenesisCare’s services at the Hunter Cancer Centre in Gateshead to offer world-class diagnostics and treatment closer to home.
Federal Regional Health Minister and former regional doctor, Dr David Gillespie, said the new integrated, multidisciplinary service was a huge step forward for cancer care in Maitland and across the Hunter Valley region.
“The Federal Coalition Government is pleased to support this new service for locals by ensuring patients can receive Medicare subsidised cancer services, so there is one less thing to worry about during their treatment and recovery,” Dr Gillespie said.
Founder of Mark Hughes Foundation, Mark Hughes, said: “’Having grown up in the coal fields, going to high school in Maitland this region means the world to me.”
“Cancer is a tough diagnosis to process for the patient, family and friends. We now have a world class facility so that we can take on this disease head on in our own backyard, give it our all, never give up and be surrounded by our families and friends close by. This will make a huge difference for so many,” said Mr Hughes.
“Our integrated approach to cancer care here in Maitland will provide local patients with access to seamless coordinated care, ensuring they feel supported throughout all stages of their treatment journey,” said A/Prof O’Brien.
“Our passionate and highly specialised team of doctors in Maitland are also internationally recognised researchers. We are all very excited to bring the very best and latest in cancer care innovation to the Maitland community and Hunter region,” concluded A/Prof O’Brien.
Retired Chef and Medowie Local, Michael Callaghan, 70 y/o, was one of the first patients to receive treatment at GenesisCare’s new centre in Maitland, after previously traveling daily to Newcastle to undergo radiation therapy.
“My experience in Newcastle has been flawless – from the reception staff, through to the radiation therapists and my doctor. I was pretty excited when I found out I could access the same excellent care and team right on my doorstep here in Maitland,” said Mr Callaghan.
The centre is home to a highly advanced linear accelerator, capable of delivering the latest radiation therapy treatment techniques, as well as a high-resolution PET-CT scanner used for cancer detection, monitoring, and treatment planning. Patients will also have access to VMAT (Volumetric Modulated Arc Therapy), for non-melanoma skin cancers, including basal cell carcinomas (CCC) and squamous cell carcinomas (SCC).
The doors to the centre first opened to patients in December 2021, in collaboration with leading diagnostic providers, Hunter Imaging and Douglass Hanly Moir Pathology.
The integrated cancer centre has the capacity to treat more than 1,500 cancer patients a year and is located adjacent to the recently opened Maitland Public Hospital.