Posted on 28. Jun, 2010 in Victoria

Victoria’s $1 billion world-class Parkville Comprehensive Cancer Centre will be expanded further to include additional research space and intensive care beds, that will save lives and improve the quality of life for thousands of people affected by cancer.

Health Minister Daniel Andrews inspected works on Sunday at the new Royal Children’s Hospital project and unveiled the new details of the nearby Parkville Cancer Centre project.

“Our Government is taking action to give Victorians a better health system, by building new hospitals and hiring more doctors and nurses,” Mr Andrews said.

“That is why we are building the new Royal Children’s Hospital and expanding the new Parkville Comprehensive Cancer Centre to include two extra radiation therapy bunkers, two extra ICU beds and additional research space.

“The cancer centre will be a world-leader in the field – a dedicated research, training and clinical care facility for Victorian patients. It will drive the next generation of progress in the prevention, detection and treatment of cancer.

“It will accelerate new cancer treatments, train cancer specialists and will mean better health outcomes for the 70 Victorians given a cancer diagnosis each day.”

Three consortia have been shortlisted to build the new cancer centre, which like the new Royal Children’s Hospital project, will be delivered as Public Private Partnership.

The project brief for the centre includes 15 generic Research Lab clusters, which are each capable of accommodating 60 researchers and expanded support space. 

The total capacity of the new Critical Care Unit – including the Intensive Care Unit and High Dependency Unit – will increase from 40 to 42 beds. The number of radiation therapy bunkers at the centre will increase from six to eight.

The Victorian and Commonwealth Governments are each contributing $426.1 million for the new Parkville Comprehensive Cancer Centre, with the remainder to be funded from the sale of surplus land, partner contributions and philanthropic donations.

Mr Andrews also announced today that the Royal Children’s Hospital would join as a partner with the Parkville Comprehensive Cancer Centre.

“This means those treated at our world class children’s hospital will also have seamless access to the benefits of a world leading cancer care and research facility,” Mr Andrews said.

Parkville Comprehensive Cancer Centre chair Professor Richard Larkins said he was delighted to welcome aboard one of the world’s great children’s hospitals, along with their campus partners the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and the Department of Paediatrics. 

“The inclusion of the Royal Children’s Hospital means the cancer centre will be able to provide excellence in clinical care guided by world leading research to Victorians affected by cancer from infancy through all the stages of life,” Mr Larkins said.

Mr Andrews said the $1 billion new Royal Children’s Hospital was taking shape with about 100 medical service pendants being installed in its theatres and other treatment rooms.

“The specialist medical service pendants, which hang from the roof and distribute power, medical gases and anaesthetic, enable doctors and nurses to provide the highest quality care to young patients,” Mr Andrews said.

“The pendants allows for the optimum use of space providing a more efficient and safer working environment for doctors and nurses.”

Construction of the landmark new Royal Children’s Hospital is progressing on time and on budget, with completion scheduled for the end of 2011.

Construction on the Parkville Comprehensive Cancer Centre expected to start in 2011, with the new facilities expected to be ready in 2015. Demolition of the former Royal Dental Hospital buildings is almost complete.

The 2010 State Budget included $2.3 billion for new building projects, bringing to $7.5 billion the Government’s total health capital – the largest health capital program in the State’s history.

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