New €40m radiation oncology unit opened by Tanaiste
TÁNAISTE Simon Coveney opened a €40m new radiation oncology unit in Cork University Hospital (CUH) which will now offer Ireland's most comprehensive range of cancer treatment programmes.
Critically, the new unit will now aim to boost the number of Irish patients taking part in clinical trials for breakthrough new cancer treatments.
The new Glandore Centre at CUH will work closely with The Christie in Manchester - one of Europe's top cancer research centres.
The Christie is currently the centre of 650 different clinical trials.
Just 3pc of Irish cancer patients annually participate in such trials - and the link-up between the new Cork centre and The Christie aims to offer Irish patients access to some of the most exciting cancer treatment trials ongoing.
The Christie is the largest single site comprehensive cancer centre in Europe, treating more than 44,000 patients a year.
The collaboration with The Christie will expand options for clinical trials for patients at Cork University Hospital and will also strengthen the cancer research dimension of the hospital and its existing academic radiation oncology relationship with University College Cork (UCC).
A total of five new linear accelerators have been provided in the Glandore Centre as well as cutting-edge scanning and treatment equipment to offer cancer patients precision radiotherapy.
"This is more investment in vital healthcare infrastructure in Ireland," Mr Coveney said.
"This is needed, as we know. We are spending more on healthcare now than we have ever spent as a country.
"We also have a growing population that is more demanding and understandably so.
"There are many diseases that in the past would have been terminal that are no longer terminal - so we need to constantly invest in the technology and healthcare infrastructure that is needed to provide the best possible care for patients," he said.
The new Glandore Centre in CUH will, when fully operational, offer the most comprehensive suite of cancer treatment services in Ireland.
It will be the 'centre of excellence' for cancer treatment across the entire south west region.
The CUH centre will be the only public hospital in Ireland using Surface Guided Radiation Treatment (SGRT).
SGRT speeds up and improves the accuracy of treatment and reduces the need for immobilisation.
The treatment is also highly advantageous for those patients whose treatment area is close to organs that are at risk from radiation exposure such as the breast, brain, lungs or liver.
It is being funded by the Cork charity, Aid Cancer Treatment (ACT), at a cost of €800,000.
The Glandore Centre was also developed to offer the best patient experience possible.
Care was taken to create the most comfortable environment for treatment with the building design, colour, light, and interior planting adopted from best international practice.
CUH officials said the design was chosen to offer the most positive patient experience possible.