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$375m Federal Government support for world-class comprehensive cancer centre

28/03/22 - A new $750 million, truly comprehensive WA Cancer Centre that will transform cancer treatment, care and research in Western Australia, can begin development with $375 million support from the Federal Government.

The new centre, being developed by the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research (Perkins) and to be built at the QEII site, will ensure world-first cancer medicines, world-leading clinical trials, holistic supportive treatment therapies, an integrated and dedicated intensive care unit as well as new hospital beds solely for cancer patients all in one location.

Perkins Director, Professor Peter Leedman AO, said the Federal Government’s support was imperative for delivering the new centre which will put WA on the same footing as Victoria with the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and New South Wales with the Chris O’Brien Lifehouse. It will also enable WA to be part of an integrated national network of comprehensive cancer centres around Australia being developed by the Australian Government’s Cancer Australia agency.

“Comprehensive cancer centres use a model of care that is patient centred, integrated, research-based and delivered through multi-disciplinary teams working with co-located services,” Prof Leedman said

“Each patient’s case from diagnosis through treatment is coordinated, shared, and regularly assessed. Cancer research and trials of new treatments are integrated with patient treatment plans where possible.

“Support services are also integrated providing pain management, psychological support, physiotherapy and other holistic care that helps a patient manage treatment better and even stay with it for longer.

“For cancer patients to have a truly ‘one-stop-shop’ for all their treatment including intensive care, specialist appointments, imaging and scanning, operating theatres, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, complementary therapy, palliative care and rehabilitation – will be transformative.

“Until now, Western Australia was the only mainland State in Australia that did not have a truly comprehensive cancer centre in operation or in development. This is a visionary decision by the Federal Government and a major step in ensuring this truly comprehensive cancer centre is built to help thousands of Western Australians with cancer and their families.

“Western Australians deserve the best possible cancer care on their doorstep. This facility will provide that. On average, about 50 Western Australians a year travel to Victoria for cancer services and treatment they cannot get in WA. At a time when people are fighting for their life and family means everything, they should not have this added level of stress and disruption. This comprehensive cancer centre here in Perth will set that right and buy back precious time for families, while providing a higher standard of coordinated, cutting edge care for all cancer patients.

“This centre will provide a better and more coordinated cancer journey for patients and their families compared to the disjointed and sometimes confusing one they have now. Cancer care in Western Australia is excellent but fragmented and disconnected. This facility will radically change the cancer journey for patients with cutting edge precision medicine driving clinical care. Most importantly, it will lead to better outcomes with improved patient survival and quality of life while providing access to the newest drugs and treatments,” he said.

The centre would service public and private patients and have outreach into regional WA, including WA’s Indigenous communities.

Professor Leedman said the comprehensive cancer centre would also help enhance the QEII precinct as a medical centre of excellence, complementing the Perth Children’s Hospital, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, Telethon Kids Institute, Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research, Pathwest and the new Mums and Babies Hospital.

“As with any project of this scale there is still a lot of work to do to get the centre built and running to service the community, but this is a huge and significant move that means so much for the State,” he said.

Research has shown that comprehensive cancer centres help save lives and reduce the stress and burden on patients and their families at a time when every day counts.

Cancer has a large impact on the WA health system, accounting for more than 158,000 cancer related hospital admissions per year (14.4 per cent of total hospitalisations)

Article taken from Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research. Read the full article here.



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