Push to extend home chemo

The company based in Northbridge, which is accredited by the Australian Council on Healthcare Standards, is the first in WA to administer chemotherapy and other specialised infusions to patients in their own home.

The treatment is free for privately insured patients, but Ms Rogers, a registered nurse, wants to make it available to all.

�We had some very positive feedback earlier in our discussions with senior staff at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital (SCGH), and in fact the Health Minister himself also seemed very keen,� Ms Rogers said.

�We have enormous demand from public patients who attend SCGH, requesting their chemotherapy be administered at home, particularly from patients who are very frail and find it difficult and exhausting to go to hospital and those who have poor transport options.�

Mosman Park resident Rhonda Clifford was diagnosed with breast cancer last year and had treatment through Chemo@ home.

�I was able to have a coffee, a girlfriend sit with me and it meant I didn�t have to leave the house or have the added pressure of finding a car park,� Ms Clifford said.

�By the second or third round of chemo, your anxiety levels are pretty high, but removing all those other anxieties makes a real difference.�

GP Joe Kosterich said the Health Department needed to look closer at the proposal.

�If it can be done safely, I can�t see why it is not being offered for public patients already. It�s cheaper to treat patients at home and it would free up a hospital bed,� he said.

Health Minister Kim Hames said the Government supported patients being able to access health care closer to home.

�But chemotherapy at home isn�t suitable for everyone of course and the majority of treatments are done in hospital because of the risks involved.�