Portacaths ‘not new’

THE article “Procedure simplified for cancer patients” (Newcastle Herald 13/7) contains misleading information for cancer patients of the Hunter.

The statement made that ‘‘this technology is not new, but until now patients have had to travel to Sydney to have a portacath inserted as no service was available here’’ is not correct.

General surgeons in the Hunter have been inserting portacaths in various hospitals for cancer patients for nearly 30 years.

Maybe it is true that this service has not been available at Newcastle Private Hospital until now, but to state that this is not available in the Hunter at all, is wrong.

I have been inserting portacaths for our oncology patients at both Lake Macquarie Private and Belmont Hospital for many years, as part of the total care offered to my patients.

Dr David Clark

Gateshead

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