New linear accelerator to further improve cancer care in Tasmania

Jeremy Rockliff,Minister for Health

A new linear accelerator has been officially launched today at the North West Regional Hospital’s Cancer Centre in Burnie Tasmania, improving access to life saving cancer care in the State.

Linear accelerators are used to generate beam radiation treatments for patients with cancer, using high-energy x-rays or electrons to destroy the cancer cells without damaging the surrounding tissue.

Minister for Health, Greg Hunt, said the Morrison Government provided $4.4 million to purchase and install the linear accelerator, the second to be installed at the North West Cancer Centre.

“This new linear accelerator will increase access to radiation treatments for Tasmanians with cancer, making it easier to get the treatment they need,” Minister Hunt said.

“We expect the linear accelerator will be fully operational this month, delivering on our Government’s commitment to ensuring all Australians can access world-class technology and expertise to improve health outcomes and quality of life.”

The new linear accelerator was funded through the $1.25 billion Community Health and Hospitals Program (CHHP), delivering improvements to local health and hospital services, including cancer treatment, rural health and hospital infrastructure.

Tasmanian Premier, Jeremy Rockliff, said the North West Cancer Centre provides outpatient Medical Oncology, Radiation Oncology and Clinical Haematology services to the communities of North West Tasmania.

“The Tasmanian Liberal Government has committed $8.1 million to operate and staff the linear accelerator facility, as part of the $60 million redevelopment of the North West Regional Hospital,” Premier Rockliff said.

“With staffing levels to be increased over time to respond to demand, the linear accelerator will allow the North West Regional Hospital to effectively doubling its current capacity, enabling more cancer patients to receive lifesaving radiation therapy or chemotherapy each year in the North-West.

“This new piece of equipment is helping to grow the local economy, creating local jobs in construction and support, and paving the way for more jobs in health for the longer term through its ongoing operation.”

Federal Member for Braddon, Gavin Pearce, said operating a new linear accelerator at the North West Regional Hospital will meet the increased local demand for cancer care.

“The North West Cancer Service has experienced increased demand for radiation oncology services,” Mr Pearce said.

“Thanks to this investment by the Morrison and Tasmanian Governments there will be far more services available for local patients, keeping them closer to home and their loved ones while they are undergoing life saving treatment.”

The Morrison Government is providing $34.4 million through the CHHP to the Tasmanian Liberal Government to improve health and hospital services across Tasmania. A further $7.4 million is also being provided through the CHHP to non-government organisations to support improved health services in the State.

The CHHP was announced by Prime Minister Scott Morrison in December 2018 and is designed to deliver local health and hospital services in every state and territory targeting four key areas:

  • Specialist hospital services such as cancer treatment, rural health and hospital infrastructure;
  • Drug and alcohol treatment;
  • Preventive, primary and chronic disease management; and

Mental health.

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