Bendigo Health takes over

Women urged to have a screen

BENDIGO Health will operate and manage Bendigo BreastScreen. 

St John of God Health Care previously ran the service, with the change due to the Federal Government's commitment to link the service with the public health system. 

The changeover follows St John of God Health Care's national decision to redirect priorities and cease involvement in imaging services. 

BreastScreen Victoria chief executive officer Vicki Pridmore said the service was pleased to enter into a new partnership.

She said it would strive to maintain a high quality screening service for women. 

Bendigo Health medical officer Andre Nel said the new partnership fitted directly into the hospital's vision of Healthy Communities and World Class Healthcare. 

"We are very pleased to continue this valuable service for women in the Loddon Mallee region," he said. 

Woman aged 50 to 74 are encouraged to get their breasts screened. 

Breast cancer survivors Wilma Bidmade and Myra Potter said early detection was important. 

Ms Bidmade, 68, was diagnosed with breast cancer about 10 years ago while Ms Potter, 77, discovered she had the illness in 2006.  

"If you don't find it straightaway then it can be too late by the time you do," Ms Bidmade said. 

"You see some people frightened, they don't want to know about it and then when they do they get support.

"Everyone can cope it is just something you learn to do." 

Ms Potter had nothing but praise for the staff at Bendigo BreastScreen. 

"The services are just out of this world," she said. 

"The people can't do enough to help you."

Bendigo BreastScreen will continue to operate from its current location in St Francis House on the corner of Lily and Barnard streets. 

Bendigo BreastScreen staff who expressed an interest in transferring to Bendigo Health have been re-employed. 

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