North-West Tasmanians battling cancer will be able to be treated on the North West in their own community with the Hodgman Liberal Government committing ongoing operational funding for the North-West Regional Cancer Centre at Burnie.

After many years of Labor governments expecting Tasmanians to accept a broken health system, we are now heading in the right direction, and today’s Budget is all about building on the momentum.

In today’s State Budget $14.5 million over four years has been allocated to the soon-to-be operational facility, which will form part of the Northern Integrated Cancer Service.

The Liberals have been long-term and vocal advocates for the need for a cancer treatment centre in the North-West. This investment again shows the importance of maintaining fiscal discipline so that we can afford to invest in better outcomes in health into the future.

In opposition we were concerned, like the community, that the then Labor-Green government did not plan to fund the ongoing operation of the Cancer Centre.

In Government we are very pleased to be delivering the funding needed to ensure North-West cancer patients do not need to regularly travel to Launceston for treatment.

The North-West Regional Cancer Centre will provide infrastructure, diagnostic equipment, medical oncology, radiation therapy services, and associated education and support facilities to the North-West.

The construction of the cancer centre building is well underway with an expected completion date in 2015. The cancer centre is expected to be fully operational and delivering radiation oncology services in 2015-16.

The centre will deliver radiation therapy on commissioning of the Linear Accelerator and under the One Health System reforms will operate as a key part of the Northern Integrated Cancer Service, with close links with specialists based at the Holman Clinic in Launceston.

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