Oncology unit a step closer

By Grace Jones | posted on December 20, 2019

THE radiation oncology service that had State funding secured in March this year is a step closer to completion with a site for the new specialised bunker identified in Albany and design planning underway.

Earlier this year the State Government announced that $13.1 million intended for the Albany Wave Energy project would be relocated to help pay for a new radiotherapy oncology unit at the Albany Health Campus.

The new oncology service will provide treatment closer to home for suitable cancer patients in the Great Southern region.

Minister for Health Roger Cook said the McGowan Government had invested the funds in the project to provide the Albany Health Campus with the infrastructure to deliver radiation oncology services.

So far in the project the WA Country Health Service has completed the concept brief, feasibility study and business case, chosen the site for the Linac Suite, appointed a lead consultant and commenced the design and development phase.

The Linac Suite, a specialised bunker, will be located within the Cancer Centre at Albany Health Campus.

The suite will deliver radiation oncology services using high energy x-rays which destroy cancer cells while sparing the surrounding tissue.

Member for Albany Peter Watson said the service would provide patients the opportunity to stay at home with family and friends rather than travel to Perth for treatment.

“With the Great Southern population due to grow by more than seven per cent in the next decade, services like these will be in more demand,” he said.

“With the site for the new Linac Suite in the hospital chosen and the planning well underway, cancer patients in the Great Southern can be assured of receiving this new life saving service as soon as practically possible.”

Construction for the bunker will take around 12 months after planning is completed with the service anticipated to be operational in early 2022.

The estimated demand on radiation oncology services in the Great Southern is anticipated to increase from around 4000 cases in 2016-17 to more than 6000 by 2030-31.