Our History - Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre
|The history of Peter Mac is much like that of many public hospitals – a real need in the community; passion and a commitment from influential people to fulfill that need; expansion shaped by growing populations; evolutions in medicine and science that consistently open new doors onto increasingly specialised pathways; and the inevitable struggle for space, resources and money.|
|But the history of Peter Mac is also different from many public hospitals because of its dedication to only one disease, with all its complexities and manifestations, which has given those associated with the hospital a deep and abiding sense of purpose over the years. It was also founded with the dual purpose of caring for cancer patients ‘by means other than surgery’ and with scientific research at its core. This has enabled it to shape developments in cancer medicine, science and nursing in Australia and further afield, and created a culture whereby ‘focusing on the needs of cancer patients is important … and the recognition of what we currently do – whilst it’s as good as we can do, it’s not good enough, we’ve got to do better.’|
When Peter MacCallum opened the clinical section of the Cancer Institute in his name in 1950 he claimed that ‘Nothing but the best is good enough for the treatment of cancer’. The next few pages are a brief snapshot of the last sixty years to explore why he felt this way and whether or not his intentions have been fulfilled.