Joint Media Release with Minister for Regional Development Fiona Nash and NT Minister for Health Natasha Fyles
- New PET Scanner and Cyclotron will improve cancer services in the NT.
- Up to 100 jobs are expected to be created during construction to house each machine.
- Stage 1 construction expected to commence in July 2017.
- New $3 million dollar commitment from NT Government.
The Northern Territory will soon have have access to improved cancer treatment thanks to a $15 million investment from the Coalition Government to purchase a new PET scanner and cyclotron.
Minister for Regional Development Fiona Nash said the construction and delivery this life saving infrastructure was great news for all Territorians.
“The new medical equipment will deliver better cancer care for residents in the Northern Territory,” Minister Nash said.
“Territorians will no longer have to travel for this life saving cancer treatment.
“I aim to help build the kinds of communities our children and grandchildren either want to stay in or come back to and quality health care is a big part of that.”
Senator for the Northern Territory Nigel Scullion said having a PET scanner and cyclotron in Darwin would mean patients would be able to remain closer to their loved ones and not have to travel interstate for treatment.
“The Coalition Government is absolutely committed to ensuring Northern Territory residents have access to the same level of amenity as people living in other parts of Australia and this is a great example of us delivering on this,” Senator Scullion said.
Northern Territory Minister for Health Natasha Fyles said the delivery of this project was testament to the strong working relationship between the Federal and Northern Territory Governments.
“We believe all Territorians are entitled to control over their lives and access to high quality services, because we know early diagnosis of disease can save lives,” Ms Fyles said.
“We’ve listened to concerns from Territorians about the difficulty of travelling interstate for these potentially life-saving scans and we’ve taken action.
“Today we’re announcing extra funding for the purchase of a cyclotron machine that creates the radioactive atoms – or isotopes used in the PET scanning process.
“The Department of Health, Top End Health Service and Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics have been working to refine the concept designs in consultation with specialist advisors in both PET and cyclotron facilities.
“Final cost estimates indicate a revised $3 million funding gap.
“As a government we recognise this is a top priority and we’ve backed Territorians by providing the $3 million dollars in funding needed – on top of the $5 million announced last year to expand chemotherapy services at Alan Walker Cancer Care Centre.
The endorsed location for the PET/CT is within the Medical Imaging Department in the Royal Darwin Hospital main ward block, with the cyclotron machine housed in a purpose built facility adjacent to the Territory’s Alan Walker Cancer Care Centre.
The PET Scanner service is expected to be operating in the second half of 2018.
It is expected that the Cyclotron machine will be installed and commissioned by February 2019.
The NT PET Scanner and Cyclotron was jointly funded by the Coalition Government ($15 million) and NT Government ($3 million).