Jim McGinty

Jim McGinty

Attorney General; Minister for Health; Electoral Affairs

    World-class boost for cancer patients

    13/10/2005 12:00 AM

    Cancer patients in Western Australia will have access to two world-class treatment centres under the State Government’s new plan for cancer care.

    Health Minister Jim McGinty said dedicated cancer centres would be built at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital and the Fiona Stanley Hospital as part of the WA Health Cancer Services Framework released today.

    Mr McGinty said both state-of-the-art cancer centres would contain PET/CT scanning facilities and provide diagnostic imaging, radiotherapy, specialist surgery, chemotherapy, and a full range of nursing and supportive care services.

    “Unfortunately, cancer touches everyone’s lives at some stage,” he said.

    “About 20 Western Australians every day are diagnosed with some form of cancer and about 3,500 people a year lose their lives to the disease.

    “The WA Health Cancer Services Framework will bring to WA the best aspects of cancer care from around the world and provide high-quality treatment to cancer patients across the State.”

    The Minister said construction of Stage One of the Cancer Centre at SCGH was well under way, with the $12.3million project due for completion early in 2006.

    Planning for Stage Two has begun, with construction due for completion by 2010 as part of Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital’s $546million redevelopment.

    The cancer centre at the $742million Fiona Stanley Hospital is scheduled to open once the hospital is completed in 2011.

    “These two state-of-the-art cancer centres will deliver the best cancer treatment available in the nation,” Mr McGinty said.

    The plan will also see specialised cancer units established at suburban and regional hospitals to provide ambulatory care such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy, rehabilitation, support services and palliative care.

    “This will enable people to seek treatment at hospitals closer to their homes for the more common cancers such as breast, skin and lung cancer,” the Minister said.

    “It is anticipated that the cancer units will provide ambulatory care for up to 65 per cent of cancer patients in WA.”

    Cancer services in rural areas will also be upgraded, with the establishment of teams of cancer experts for each main type of cancer to develop patient treatment plans and ensure patients are seen quickly.

    Mr McGinty said cancer nurse co-ordinators would ensure better patient care for patients in country areas by providing specialist advice and other social supports.

    The Minister said the establishment of the Cancer and Palliative Care Network, currently headed by Professor Christobel Saunders, would oversee the implementation of cancer services and develop an accreditation system for cancer care practitioners to ensure patients received the highest standard of care.

    A State-wide psychology service for all cancer and palliative care patients would also be established to provide support in stressful times.

    Mr McGinty said the Government had allocated $30million over four years to upgrade cancer services.

    “We are investing an extra $890million into the State’s health system to build new hospitals, upgrade existing hospitals and open an additional 800 beds,” he said.

    “The Gallop Government has a 10-year health blueprint with a massive $3.6billion capital works program for hospitals across the State.

    “This is a record investment in our hospitals that will give WA the finest health system in the nation and deliver health care closer to where people live.”

    Minister's Office - 9220 5000