Jim McGinty

Jim McGinty

Attorney General; Minister for Health; Electoral Affairs

    Delivering a healthy Western Australia - work begins on new cancer centre

    3/05/2005 12:00 AM

    Waiting times for cancer patients needing life-saving treatment will be significantly reduced with the construction of a new dedicated Cancer Centre at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital.

    Health Minister Jim McGinty said work on the first stage of the $12.3million Cancer Centre would begin this month after the construction contract had been awarded to Badge Constructions.

    “The first stage of the Cancer Centre, which is due to open its doors early next year, will have the capacity to treat an additional 610 patients a year and this will eliminate the long waiting times for treatment,” Mr McGinty said.

    “At the moment some patients are waiting for up to six months for treatment, which is totally unacceptable so reducing this time for cancer patients is a high priority.”

    The Minister said about 1,780 patients were currently treated at the hospital each year.

    “The Gallop Government is committed to improving the quality of cancer services for Western Australians and this new centre will provide world-class treatment for patients,” he said.

    “The Cancer Centre will also be a valuable training ground for clinicians and help foster research.”

    Stage one of the project includes the construction of three ‘bunkers’ to house three new radiation treatment machines, called linear accelerators, which are used to treat about half of all cancers.

    About 52,000 Western Australians are currently living with some form of cancer and each year, more than 7,000 new cases are diagnosed.

    Mr McGinty said the Gallop Government had recently committed an additional $30million to cancer care over the next four years, with $16million of the funding to be allocated for cancer prevention and care programs.

    The Western Australian Cancer Services Taskforce of clinical experts in cancer care, chaired by Professor Christobel Saunders, is developing a State Cancer Services Framework to improve cancer treatment services across the State.

    “This framework will outline how services can be improved during the next five years to reduce cancer incidence and provide better survival and care, while improving the quality of life for cancer patients from diagnosis to treatment through to care for the dying patient,” the Minister said.

    He said cancer services staff, including doctors, nurses and other health professionals would meet next week, to discuss the future of metropolitan hospital cancer services as part of the consultation phase of the new Clinical Services Framework to reconfigure the State’s metropolitan public hospitals.

    Minister's office: 9220 5000