The diagnosis of cancer and enduring the treatments that follow can be an emotional and stressful time for patients and their families.
It is not only the patient’s health that is impacted; they are also faced with big decisions about their treatment and care, have to spend a significant amount of time in hospital, and travelling to and from medical appointments. Often too ill to drive or take public transport, these patients sometimes have to rely on a support network of carers to get to these appointments.
What is chemotherapy?
Chemotherapy, which is often just referred to as ‘chemo’, is the use of drugs to kill or slow the growth of cancer cells.
Chemo is usually given intravenously, which means via a vein. Sometimes it is given in other ways, such as orally, as a cream or as injections into different parts of the body.
Medibank at Home – Chemotherapy Trial
In May 2016, Medibank commenced a trial program in Western Australia, giving eligible members the choice to receive chemotherapy in their own home. Medibank has since commenced trials in South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales metro and Queensland metro.
To take part, members must have hospital insurance that covers chemotherapy services, and their treating doctor must consider it appropriate for them. Medibank funds the services which are delivered by qualified and experienced service providers.
Hear from Olive, a chronic leukaemia patient, on how the Medibank at Home chemotherapy trial changed her life.
The emotional benefits
We’re exploring new service models to provide our members with greater choice and increased flexibility by offering chemotherapy in the comfort and familiar surroundings of their own home. They benefit from being closer to their family or support network, increased privacy and reduced time costs associated with travel, waiting and discharge.
Many of the program’s participants report that being able to continue with activities of daily life helps them feel more ‘normal’.
A view to expand
Medibank at Home’s – Chemotherapy Trial has already expanded from Perth, to South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales metro and Queensland metro. We’re hoping that early encouraging results will lead to a national roll-out, providing more Medibank members with the choice to receive care where they most want it.
Not only will this give members more choice, it will also support a more sustainable healthcare system. Delivering chemotherapy in the home will free up services and resources in hospitals, helping to build capacity and manage growing demand.
To find out more about the trial, including if you are eligible, call the Medibank at Home team on 1300 733 338 between 9am and 4pm AEST, Monday – Friday or email firstname.lastname@example.org.