New $20m private cancer care facility for Wellington

Australian Icon Group chief executive Mark Middleton says the new private cancer centre will help relieve pressure on ...

Australian Icon Group chief executive Mark Middleton says the new private cancer centre will help relieve pressure on the public health system.

Millions of dollars have been invested in a private cancer care centre set to open in Wellington.

Acurity Health Group has partnered with Australian cancer care provider Icon Group to open the $20 million facility at Acurity's Wakefield Hospital.

The centre, which will open before Christmas, will incorporate the latest oncology technology and treatment techniques to diagnose and treat patients.

Once completed, it will have the capacity to treat 900 patients suffering from a range of cancers every year.

Icon Group chief executive Mark Middleton said the aim was to improve access to world-class private cancer care and help relieve pressure on the public health system.

"The centre will feature radiation oncology facilities equipped with the latest Varian Trubeam system linear accelerators, which have been designed to advance the treatment of lung, breast, intracranial, prostate, head and neck and other types of cancer."

Acurity chief executive Ian England said the centre would set the bar for quality comprehensive private cancer care in New Zealand.

"Acurity is always focused on expanding our services at our hospitals and so we're pleased with this opportunity and the benefits and choice it will offer patients. Wellington has waited long enough for an integrated private cancer care centre."

The new private facility would complement the existing services provided by the Capital & Coast District Health Board, he said.

"The DHB does a wonderful job caring for cancer patients, however our focus is on giving those New Zealanders with private health insurance a choice.

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"Private hospitals such as Acurity play a vital role in delivering healthcare services alongside the public health system to New Zealanders every year. This will help relieve pressure on the public health system and support cancer patients, not just in Wellington, but also the lower North Island and upper South Island."

About 20 staff would be employed at the centre and Acurity is involved in encouraging discussions with a number of oncology specialists to care for patients, he said.

The medical oncology unit will be operational by Christmas, with phase two, which will include the linear accelerators and day infusion centre, up and running in a new building as the first phase of the re-development of Wakefield Hospital.

 - Stuff

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