Thousands of cancer patients from throughout Western Australia will have easier access to treatment following a $65million expansion of the State Major Cancer Centre at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital.
Health Minister Jim McGinty said architectural firm Hassell had been given the task of designing stage two of the centre, which would see all cancer services at the hospital brought under the one roof.
“The expanded centre will be seven times the size of the existing stage one Cancer Centre which opened in 2006,” Mr McGinty said.
“The new building will be built alongside the existing facility to create the largest cancer centre in the State.
“It will provide state-of-the-art clinic and treatment areas for radiotherapy and chemotherapy, and specialised cancer equipment currently located throughout the hospital will be moved to the centre. The centre will be equipped with five linear accelerator machines which are used to deliver radiotherapy to patients.
“The centre will treat 4,000 patients each year.
“Construction will begin in 2009 and will take two years to complete.
“One in three Western Australians will develop cancer in their lifetime.
“It’s vital that we are constantly monitoring what the future health needs of the WA community will be. This expansion will make sure we can provide people with life saving cancer care, treatments and technology long into the future.
“The expansion is part of our program to build cancer services and facilities across WA. This centre will work in conjunction with the State’s second comprehensive cancer centre being built at the new Fiona Stanley Hospital in Murdoch.
“We are also expanding cancer services in our secondary metropolitan hospitals and regional hospitals to ensure people can receive more of the treatment they need closer to home.”
Mount Hawthorn resident and mother-of-two Vicki Roberts, 50, is undergoing radiotherapy at the Cancer Centre at SCGH.
“I was diagnosed with breast cancer earlier this year,” said Ms Roberts.
“I was lucky. My breast cancer was diagnosed early. I had chemotherapy and am now about one third of the way through my radiotherapy treatment. I am making good progress.
“The Cancer Centre is a terrific facility and I am delighted with the plans to expand it. The existing building is light and airy and really helps to lift your spirits. It is a positive environment which is very important when you are fighting cancer.”
Dr David Joseph, Director of Cancer Services at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, said the $65million expansion would benefit both patients and staff.
“Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital is the busiest cancer centre in WA,” said Dr Joseph.
“The first stage of our Comprehensive Cancer Centre has transformed the experience of patients - enabling them to receive the treatment they need in modern, state-of-the-art surroundings.
“However, most of our other cancer services are provided elsewhere in the hospital which is not ideal for patients. The $65million expansion will enable us to deliver all cancer services in the same area for the first time, delivering enormous benefits for patients and staff.
“We are delighted construction of the second stage of this marvellous facility will begin next year.”
Jeff Menkens, a principal architect at Hassell, said the firm was delighted to have been awarded the contract to design the second stage of the Cancer Centre.
“We designed the first stage of the Cancer Centre so we are very pleased to be able to build on our work by designing the second stage of the centre," Mr Menkens said.
“Design work is now under way. We are working to create a facility which meets the needs of patients and staff. We want to deliver a facility that is modern, healing and helps to reduce any stress patients may be feeling. We also want a design that fosters and promotes interaction between the various members of the multi-disciplinary team involved in the care of every cancer patient.”
The $65million expansion of the Comprehensive Cancer Centre is part of the WA State Government’s $450million investment to redevelop Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital and $126million contribution towards the creation of a $360 million research precinct - both at the Queen Elizabeth II Medical Centre in Nedlands.
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