Longer commute to cancer treatment

The bad news was followed by another predicament: finding out Royal Perth Hospital was phasing out its radiotherapy and she would need to travel even further to her daily treatments.

Rather than simply catching the train in to McIver, she will now need to drive to Fiona Stanley Hospital five days a week for five weeks.

Cancer patients in the eastern suburbs will face extended travel times once the public provision of radiotherapy services is relocated from Royal Perth Hospital to Fiona Stanley Hospital.

There are also centres available in Wembley, Joondalup, Nedlands and Bunbury.

Ms King said it was much easier and cheaper for patients in the eastern suburbs, from Midland to the Hills, to catch a train to RPH.

�Everybody can just drive into Midland, get on the train to McIver Street, which gets you straight to the tunnels and through to the hospital,� she said.

�To drive through city traffic into Subiaco, Wembley or all the way to Fiona Stanley five days a week is just tiring, plus I�m a widow so I�m on my own.

�The radiation can be tiring enough, let alone having to drive either way.�

The new hospital scheduled to open in Midland at the end of the year will not have radiotherapy facilities.

Genesis Cancer Care is the contracted provider of radiotherapy services in the State.

Manager Michael Davies said radiotherapy services would remain at RPH until mid-June.

�Genesis Care is a service provider that has been appointed by the State to provide the services at the hospital, so the decisions behind how, when and where isn�t really up to us,� he said.

�There are no immediate plans to expand our footprint but we�re always looking for opportunities to further improve access to care for patients.�

Since 2011, Genesis has added Bunbury and Joondalup to its radiotherapy service outreach.

A Department of Health spokesman said there was capacity across metropolitan health services to treat oncology patients � inpatients and outpatients � with two cancer centres north and south of the river at Fiona Stanley and Sir Charles Gairdner hospitals.

�There are also smaller networked centres at Joondalup, Swan, Rockingham and Peel,� he said.

�In addition, surgical services for patients with cancer are available at Fiona Stanley, Sir Charles Gairdner, Joondalup and Royal Perth hospitals.�