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Better, faster cancer care for Wellington patients


Hon Tony Ryall
Minister of Health
10 August 2011 Media statement
Better, faster cancer care for Wellington patients

Capital and Coast District Health Board's new radiotherapy linear accelerator will give cancer patients in the Wellington region, faster, more accurate radiation treatment, and they won't feel so ill from the therapy says Health Minister Tony Ryall.

"All cancer patients, who need radiation treatment, receive it within four weeks – the international gold standard and the new national health target.

"But cancer is the health issue New Zealanders worry about the most - and we need to keep improving. This new linac is the next step in cancer care.

"The $5 million, 6 tonne Varian Truebeam radiotherapy linear accelerator is the first of its kind in Australasia.

"It will provide more advanced and effective treatments with reduced toxicity for patients, and because it is faster, it will improve access to radiation therapy throughout the CCDHB region," says Mr Ryall.

Installation, testing, commissioning, and training staff is due to be completed by October this year, when the new linac will replace the current 14 year old machine.

In the meantime, CCDHB staff will work extended hours on the two other linac machines to ensure patients don't notice the change.

The National Government has approved ten linear accelerators in district health boards over the past two and half years.

ENDS

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