2016 will be the year the Hodgman Liberal Government puts a renewed focus on the core business of Government, this means a continued investment in better hospital care as well as a focus on keeping people healthy and out of hospital. An important milestone has been reached in our One Health System reforms with the announcement today of Dr Stan Gauden as the Director of the Northern Cancer Service and Grant Smith as Manager of the Service. Both roles are effective immediately.

The Northern Cancer Service is an integral part of our plan to deliver a better health system for everyone. It includes the Holman Clinic at the Launceston General Hospital; North West Cancer Centre at the North West Regional Hospital; and the Oncology Unit at the Mersey Community Hospital.

Dr Gauden has been a Director of the Holman Clinic in Launceston for 18 years. During this time he has seen the development of the Oncology Service into a top Regional integrated service that has a good reputation both locally and nationally.

Dr Gauden has been part of the Implementation Steering Committee for the North West Cancer Service since its inception and we are seeing the fruits of this work with the impending opening of the service.

Grant Smith has been the Manager of the Holman Clinic in Launceston for almost 25 years and has led the planning for the new integrated service.

The appointment of Dr Gauden and Mr Smith marks a milestone in the planning for the Northern Cancer Service as we deliver on our commitment of one health system for everyone.

The development of the Northern Cancer Service reflects the needs of the population across the North of Tasmania. The Burnie centre will provide radiation oncology and medical oncology services and will significantly reduce the need for patients from the North West to travel for treatment.

For the first time funds were allocated to operate the purpose-built North West Cancer facility in the 2015-16 Hodgman Liberal Government Budget. Medical oncology staff moved into the building in December and the recruitment of other clinical staff continues with the Centre to begin operation in the first half of this year.

The commissioning of equipment including a $3 million linear accelerator, used in radiation treatment, is currently underway.

A new CT scanner is scheduled to arrive in Tasmania next week. It will be installed by technicians from overseas before a period of commissioning by Centre staff.

Radiation oncology services will start in the North West in May.

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