CHEMOTHERAPY treatment for new patients has resumed at Daffodil Cottage, following the temporary appointment of a senior oncology pharmacist at the centre.
News broke on Monday that Daffodil Cottage had lost its permanent senior oncology pharmacist, prompting fears some of its services could be permanently relocated to Orange.
New patients were left with no option but to travel from Bathurst to Orange to access their chemotherapy, as the Local Health District worked to fill the position.
The decision to start new patients at Orange was a safety precaution, with General Manager of the hospital, Cathy Marshall saying it was an interim move, as there was a specialist at Orange available to manage any adverse reactions to the treatment.
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However, the decision caused fears in the community that if the situation was not resolved quickly, the temporary measure could become permanent.
On Monday, a spokesperson for the Local Health District confirmed "recruitment is underway to attract a permanent senior oncology pharmacist for the Bathurst Health Service.
"In the interim, arrangements have been made to provide local residents with access to oncology pharmacy services at the Bathurst Health Service."
Councillor Warren Aubin, spokesperson for the city's health watchdog, the Health Action Group, which has kept a close eye on developments, said he was disappointed the position is not permanent, but said at least it meant people weren't travelling to Orange.
"I certainly hope this means the service will continue and it wont be stop, start, stop.
"There has to be a continuity of service. A full-time position would have been great, but temporary is better then nothing."
He said the Local Health District must fulfill their promise and not send people back to Orange.
Cr Aubin said the void that was left in the weeks between the former pharmacist leaving and the new appointment lacked foresight, and was critical of the hospital's management for allowing it to happen.
"There was no-one there to do the job; that's poor forward planning, and not in the interests of patients."
Cr Aubin said it was ludicrous, especially in the COVID-19 climate, that any chemo patient should have to travel to Orange for treatment.
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