Construction has started on a new oncology services centre at the University of Canberra, in the university’s growing health precinct.
The centre is a three-way partnership between the university, Icon Group – Australia’s largest dedicated provider of cancer care – and Cornerstone Building Developments (CBD).
Work formally got under way in December on the state-of-the-art facility, which will provide specialist medical services, education and research at the university.
The Canberra Specialist Medical Centre will increase the availability of radiation and medical oncology, haematology and diagnostic services to the ACT and surrounding region, as well as provide significant training and research opportunities for the university's staff and students.
University of Canberra Vice-Chancellor Professor Deep Saini and Icon Group CEO Mark Middleton turned the first sod and released an artist’s impression of the facility (see image, above).
The three-level building will feature two radiation therapy bunkers for linear accelerators, the latest in radiation therapy technology delivering pinpoint accuracy in treating solid tumours. The centre will also be equipped with a 15-chair day oncology unit delivering chemotherapy and treatment for blood disorders.
Professor Saini said the centre would be a great facility for the Canberra community and, importantly, would provide exciting opportunities for health and science students.
"With this new centre, our students will have access to an advanced facility where they will be able to apply their learnings from the classroom through clinical placements," Professor Saini said.
"It will also provide our researchers and research students various collaborative opportunities across different fields, including medical oncology, radiation oncology and chemotherapy. It is an exciting venture."
Mr Middleton said the centre would improve access to world-class cancer care services for patients in Canberra at a time of increasing need.
“It’s our firm belief that people should have access to comprehensive, quality cancer care as close to home as possible, and this includes the availability of options to suit patients’ personal treatment needs and preferences,” he said. “We look forward to supporting the Canberra community with exceptional cancer care.”
CBD will own the building, which will have a floor area of 4950 square metres, and sublease the space.
The new centre, set to open in 2018, will expand on the range of services offered within the university’s growing Health Precinct, including the Health Hub, which has been operating since 2014, and the soon-to-open University of Canberra Public Hospital.