Cancer Care in Central Queensland – Changing the Lives of Patients

The Friendly Society Private Hospital, located in the Central Queensland city of Bundaberg, has changed the lives of local cancer patients.  Prior to the hospital’s day oncology unit opening over 12 months ago, patients would typically have to travel for up to 6 hours to receive their treatment in Brisbane. This would mean lengthy stays away from their homes, family and friends, not to mention the added accommodation expenses.

The Friendly Society Private Hospital’s Day Oncology Unit, is a five bed unit that provides quality cancer care with visiting medical oncologist Dr Vikram Jain. When Dr Jain is not onsite he conducts TeleHealth conferencing with patients via a video link. Dr Jain commented how “this allows us to use the latest technology to further provide continuity of care with patients being virtually able to talk to me any day of the week.”

Here are two of our patient’s stories and how having a local treatment option has helped them on their road to recovery.

A young Mum’s story
I am a young mum with a family and being able to be treated at home in Bundaberg rather than having to travel to Brisbane has eased my stress levels and made a huge difference to my recovery.

Recovery is easier if you have the support of family and friends so this is why I opt to have my treatment in Bundaberg, plus being able to go home post treatment to my own bed and familiar surrounds has been extremely helpful for my personal recovery.

Dr Jain and the Day Oncology Unit staff all make you feel comfortable and relaxed and meeting all the other patients you feel like one big family.   The treatment goes quickly and everyone looks forward to catching up again at their next session, so you start to not worry about the little things anymore.

I enjoy the TeleHealth conferences I have with Dr Jain, this gives me confidence and having the opportunity to ask questions about anything from week to week has again helped with my recovery.

The opportunity to visit the Day Oncology Unit at the Friendlies has been the best possible treatment ever.   Travelling on the train (post treatment) is not very nice and sometimes you are really too sick to make that journey back to Bundaberg.

Malcolm’s story
Mr Malcolm MacDonald retired to Agnes Water from Melbourne for a sea change and to experience the wonderful Queensland lifestyle. He was the driver of a local school bus and in December of 2012 experienced some discomfort (stomach cramping) so he approached the doctor who ordered a series of tests resulting in a cancer diagnosis.

“For 4-6 months I required treatment in Brisbane but I can now have my ongoing treatment in Bundaberg at the Friendly Society Private Hospital.  As a patient, it is a god send to be able to be treated within the region without having to travel to Brisbane, which uproots your whole life even more!

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