28 January 2005
Radiation Oncology Waiting List - Gone
The waiting list for radiation therapy has been reduced to zero – the result of some excellent team work within the radiation oncology department at Christchurch hospital.
Clinical Director Dr Chris Wynne said the result was an amazing effort and came at a time when the department was about to start preparations for the new $3.5m linear accelerator.
‘The last patient was treated on the old machine yesterday. It has provided 117,000 treatments in its 15 year life time. We now have a four month period until the new equipment is ready for use. In the meantime we will still be able to treat all our patients as planned,’ he said. ‘There will be no reduction in services.’
Dr Wynne said not only had the waiting list been reduced to zero, the department is now fully staffed with radiation therapists and all patients are being treated to international standards.
The new linear accelerator will more accurately target treatments for all types of cancers and will be better able to track tumours. It is ‘high tech’ equipment designed to reduce collateral damage to the surrounding tissue and will correspondingly decrease the side effects experienced by patients. This will improve the patient’s condition, Dr Wynne said.