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On May 11 the Minister of Health, the Hon Tony Ryall officially opened Capital & Coast’s new Brachytherapy Suite housed in Level 2 of Wellington Regional Hospital’s Blood & Cancer Centre. The new $2.5 million bunker meant that the brachytherapy service would no longer have to share a bunker with a Linac machine, which has the potential to increase patient numbers by 50%.
“Today's opening marks a significant step towards improving cancer services for the people of Wellington and the Central Region,” the Health Minister said. “It’s a pleasure to be here today to open the new brachytherapy bunker. Not only does it help patients, but new equipment also makes the job easier for our hardworking health professionals. Thank you for your dedication.
“Can I also acknowledge that the Wellington regional oncology centre at Capital & Coast DHB has met its six week target for the first three quarters of this year, consistently having 100% of patients treated within six weeks. That kind of improvement is what New Zealanders want to see – particularly the people of Wellington and the central region. The new brachytherapy bunker will help to continue your success.
“Working in cancer can be very stressful and emotionally demanding for staff. It's a complex area where you share the raw emotions of people facing cancer. May your new brachytherapy bunker bring good results for the people of Wellington and the wider central region," Tony Ryall said.
Earlier, Radiation Ocology Team Leader Carol Johnson said she was delighted that the day had finally arrived and it was definitely a time to celebrate.
Dr Johnson thanked the Blood & Cancer team who had made this day possible. “The team at Capital & Coast have built up a depth of experience in this field and we can hold our heads up high. We benchmark very well with the best clinical practices in Australasia, and this is due to staff here who deliver a high level of complex care. This new facility is part of a wider service that we can all be proud of.”
Medicine Cancer & Community Directorate Executive Director (Clinical) Dr Andy Simpson also thanked the radiation oncology team for their dedication. “We are all focussed on patient outcomes and these outcomes are dependant on the skill of staff to achieve these aims. Cancer treatment comes down to the resources and enthusiasm of the people involved and it is these people who have made today happen.”
On behalf of C&C DHB Board, Margaret Faulkner thanked staff for their patience and praised them for their ongoing dedication to patients. “Staff here make sure that we have absolutely the best care available and have put C&C DHB on the map for delivering cancer services to the lower North Island.”