BHCG runs a busy medical oncology unit and also hosts a branch of the Peter Mac Cancer Centre providing a large radiotherapy service. One of our oncologists (Dr Becky Chapman) is primarily interested in Palliative Care and runs the Pall care service.
As with most medical oncology units, patients are usually only taken on once a tissue diagnosis is established. The exception is cases that are already seeing an oncologist in their rooms for investigatin of a suspected malignancy.
Some of the oncologists see private patients and if the patient identifies themselves as a private patient of an oncologist that oncologist should be contacted directly although these cases are uncommon in Bendigo.
During the day the Oncology registrar should be contacted about any oncology admissions or indeed any oncology presentations to the ED. After hours, while the medical registrar will admit oncology patients, the oncology team should be contacted directly by the ED medical officer involved and a plan obtained and documented in the notes and communicated to the med reg. The switch board may put you through to a consultant or a fellow. Regardless of the seniority of the person on, the Oncologists have made it clear that they are available for consultation on any of their patients at any time and they should be called.
Patients who have only seen Peter Mac in Melbourne should be discussed directly with Peter Mac. If admission is warrnated, there are usually no beds and it is routine for the local oncologists to support these patients as an inpatient in Bendigo until a bed becomes available or the patient is able to be discharged.