I think that we all agree that moving home is one of the more stressful events in life. Yes it’s also very exciting, but much of the excitement gets lost in the stress and tedium of packing up and relocating! Here at CANCER SPECIALISTS, we have managed to move into two amazing new homes in the past year and have plenty to celebrate in our new environs! Stressful? Yes of course. Worth it? Absolutely!
We are about to celebrate the one-year anniversary of our move to “new home number one“, the headquarters of CANCER SPECIALISTS at Level 1, 84 Bridge Road, Richmond. We relocated our private practice rooms from an old Victorian beauty on nearby Erin Street, to a beautiful purpose-built facility around the corner on Bridge Road. Erin Street had been our home for the previous few years and had served us very well, but it was certainly showing its age and the lack of accessible facilities such as a lift, as well as limited parking and great difficulties with heating and cooling in an old heritage-listed building had led us to look for other opportunities in mid-2015. Our friends at Bridge Road Imaging (BRI) had just done an amazing job renovating 84 Bridge Road (the old Encel Audio shop some of you may remember), which has a fantastic location directly opposite the main entrance to Epworth Hospital in Richmond, and invited us to have a look around. They had invested tens of millions of dollars in transforming the old building, retaining many of the period features, but also creating a state-of-the-art environment for imaging and consulting. As a group of cancer specialists, we are very heavily dependent on high quality imaging for cancer diagnosis and surveillance following treatment, and having on-site access to multiple 3T MRI scanners, ultrasound scanners, CT, mammography, PET CT scanning, as well as pathology services through Dorevitch, provides a fantastic opportunity for us to provide best care for our patients. Free parking and excellent public transport are further attractions and therefore it didn’t take much encouragement for us to make the decision to move home which we did in November 2015.
One year later, I can tell you that we have been delighted with this big move! 84 Bridge Road is a fantastic new home for CANCER SPECIALISTS and our growing team are very impressed with the setup. Those patients who were with us at Erin Street are also very impressed with the new building and it is hard to imagine life in the old place. It is wonderful to get scans done on the day so that patients can have a “one-stop” experience, and also that we can pop down to discuss imaging with our radiology colleagues on site. Bridge Road Imaging bulk-bill all rebatable scans which is another bonus.
The other big move of course is that of the relocation of the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre. The vast majority of our team at CANCER SPECIALISTS are prominent clinicians at Peter Mac, now clearly recognised as one of the world’s premier comprehensive cancer centres, and most of us have been heavily involved in the planning of our new Centre. After hundreds of hours of meetings over the past five years, the big day finally arrived on 23 June 2016 when we closed down the old Peter Mac in East Melbourne, and open the doors to the new $1.1 billion Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Parkville. What an amazing place!
As you might expect from a billion dollar-plus investment, this is simply one of the finest healthcare facilities in the world. The fact that it is a public hospital is something we should all be proud of, as well as the incredible concentration of cancer research and clinical facilities and some of the brightest minds in the business. My own role as Director of Genitourinary Oncology at Peter Mac has been very rewarding as we have now created a single tumour stream in the precinct. This means we work closely with our colleagues at the Royal Melbourne Hospital and the Women’s Hospital, as well as increasing our presence at the University of Melbourne where most of us have senior academic appointments.
The other fantastic boost to our clinical services that we have seen in the past year has been the ongoing development of the Epworth Healthcare flagship hospital in Richmond which is where most of our insured patients undergo investigations and treatment. Epworth Healthcare have invested hundreds of millions of dollars into their flagship site over the past three years, culminating in the opening of the new Lee Wing earlier this year with a new emergency department, new intensive care and cardiac care units, many new operating theatres, and beautiful new in-patient facilities for some specialties.
Epworth have been fantastic partners of CANCER SPECIALISTS in the past five years and we are delighted to see their ongoing commitment to improving their infrastructure, as well as the emphasis they have placed on academic endeavours including education, research and training.
So I think that’s enough excitement for a while! We now work from two beautiful environments for cancer patients in our new homes in Richmond and Parkville, and are committed to providing Best Care for cancer patients in our care. Coming to see a cancer specialist can be a stressful experience, (and of course we spend a lot of time ensuring patients do not have cancer!), but it is altogether a more enjoyable experience in our new homes.