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Monthly News Bulletin
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Back to 2002 News Archive

Cancer Study May Mean New Facilities

A SOON-TO-BE published cancer study could lead to modern treatment facilities being brought into Wigtownshire.

That is the aspiration of Sandhead-based GP Gordon Baird who has conducted the study with 58 Wigtownshire patients over the last 18 months.

It has concluded that there should be sufficient capacity in the new Garrick Hospital for equipment to give chemotherapy, ultrasound, or digital radiology investigations.

And local sufferers will hope those results will bring an end to the sometimes torturous journeys to Dumfries, Edinburgh and Glasgow just for basic tests.

For the study has revealed that local patients have on average travelled a thousand miles in 18 months just for treatment that could be available in Stranraer.

Now, Dr Baird says, with a "modest input" from the local Health Board, Stranraer's new Garrick Hospital, which is due to open in less than two years, can be equipped with better facilities.

And he revealed to the "Free Press" that the survey threw up some worrying statistics.

"A minority of those we spoke to, around six per cent, said that they were prepared to make compromises in their care because of the travelling involved. That might mean not having the treatment, or saying they would be prepared to travel less for a different standard of care. That is quite worrying," he stressed.

Dr Baird will hand the completed study to officials at Dumfries and Galloway Health Board and SCAN (South of Scotland Cancer Network) before the turn of the year.

And he hopes that facilities to give chemotherapy and radiology treatment can be incorporated in the new Garrick.

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