Patients who rely on the Albury-Wodonga Regional Cancer Centre's Wellness Centre will now have an alternative way of accessing services.
A voucher system has been introduced to enable patients and carers to access subsidised visits to selected health providers on the border, while the centre's doors remain shut with strict visitor policies due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Health services such as oncology massage and physiotherapy will be available through the initiative, which is being funded by the Albury-Wodonga Regional Cancer Centre Trust Fund.
"While its doors remain closed, the Wellness Centre is very much open and we saw this as a way to reach out to patients and carers in the community when we can't do it in the building," Wellness Centre coordinator Teighan Govett said.
"It's really important for patients to be able to access these services, which aim to complement the medical treatment offered at the cancer centre and can assist with side effects such as stress, pain and nausea.
"Emotional stress is high at the moment as well, so we want to make sure we're providing as much support as possible."
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Oncology and remedial massage therapist Katrina Crawford of Crawford Massage has already jumped on board the program, as well as Healthfocus Physiotherapy.
After being diagnosed with breast cancer two years ago, Albury's Judy Hofmeyer said receiving the massage therapy helped tremendously with her physical and emotional wellbeing.
Mrs Hofmeyer said having the facilities on the Border saved her the added stress of travelling to Melbourne.
"I was pretty happy-go-lucky about it because I knew I didn't have to go to Melbourne," she said.
"Massage is a good way to start with the emotional side.
"It really has helped with my emotional stability.
"It helps the body to relax and it's helping the mind relax."
Ms Crawford said the massage therapy helped reconnect body and mind to improve the quality of life for those with a diagnosis or a history of cancer.
"It doesn't treat the cancer itself, however may alleviate the side effects caused by treatments such as surgery, radiation and chemotherapy," she said.
"The introduction of the voucher system means more patients and carers are now able to access this vital service to assist in improving their quality of life, whether they are newly diagnosed, currently having treatment or have a history of cancer."
The Wellness Centre is continuing to provide mindfulness and exercise classes online, as well as counselling and support services.
You can contact the centre for more information regarding their new voucher system.