For the first time the majority of cancer patients in the North West will no longer need to travel out of region for life saving treatment, with the opening today of the North West Cancer Centre in Burnie.

The Tasmanian Liberal Government is pleased to have contributed nearly $8 million in funding towards the capital works and an additional $14.5 million over four years which was essential for actual operations of this vital health facility.

Importantly, this $14.5m in state funding was not in the forward estimates of earlier budgets, despite building works commencing – but has been secured and is now making a positive impact in the lives of local people.

Federal Government funding together with private and community donations demonstrate this is a project which has wide community support, with local Federal Braddon member Brett Whiteley being a particularly vocal supporter from the very beginning.

The Tasmanian Government’s One Health System reforms are all about higher quality services and better outcomes for patients, which is what this centre represents.

The new North West Cancer Centre will provide critical cancer services such as radiation and chemotherapy, in the same community where patients and their loved ones live.

This means around 7,500 less trips each year for patients to go to Launceston, making it easier for them to stay in their local community and maintain their normal daily life.

The centre is now fully operational and the first radiation oncology patient was treated on Wednesday this week.

The completion, funding and opening of the centre allows the Northern Cancer Service to provide a truly integrated service across the entire Northern region and is an important investment in the future health care of North West Coasters.

It will also make the region a more attractive place to recruit and retain specialist medical staff.

The recent redevelopment of the North West Regional Hospital’s Emergency Department magnificently complements the new cancer centre and reinforces the Government’s commitment to health services in the North West.

We would like to thank all those who have contributed to this wonderful outcome, including the Commonwealth Government, the Federal Member for Braddon Brett Whiteley MP, local community organisations and service clubs, private donors and our highly dedicated and professional staff at the Tasmanian Health Service.

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