New cancer scanner to help save Territorian lives

The installation of new cancer-diagnostics equipment at Royal Darwin Hospital brings a massive upgrade of the hospital’s radiology and cancer treatment facilities a step closer to completion.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the Liberal and Nationals’ Government’s $15 million investment in the project will improve access to life-saving healthcare services in the Territory.

“This vital healthcare infrastructure upgrade will make life easier for patients who have previously had to travel interstate for diagnosis and treatment,” Mr McCormack said.

“At the moment, more than 200 patients each year have had to travel up to 3,400 kilometres to access a Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scanner interstate but now they will travel no further than Darwin.”

Senator for Northern Territory Nigel Scullion said the purchase and installation of a PET scanner will improve the detection and treatment of cancer for Territorians.

“With a purpose-built room to house the new scanner nearing completion, patients will receive a quicker and more accurate diagnosis,” Senator Scullion said.

“The next step will be the construction and fit-out of a new cyclotron facility at the Alan Walker Cancer Care Centre.”

Northern Territory Minister for Health Natasha Fyles said the Territory Government had contributed $3 million to the project and a further $5 million towards expanding complementary cancer services at the Alan Walker Cancer Care Centre.

“Now that the PET scanner has been installed, our focus is on the installation of the cyclotron, which will supply the isotopes used by the PET scanner for medical imaging to detect and monitor disease in patients,” Ms Fyles said.

“While we will source isotopes from interstate, we look forward to the whole project being completed by late 2019 so that Territorians can continue to get the very best healthcare right here.”

This $18 million project is being jointly funded with the Federal Liberal and Nationals’ Government investing $15 million and the Northern Territory Government contributing $3 million.

Hannah Maguire