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Construction starts on new oncology services facility at UC

Claudia Doman

6 December 2017: Work will soon start on a new state-of-the-art facility to provide specialist medical services, education and research at the University of Canberra.

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.

The centre is a partnership between the University, Icon Group and Cornerstone Building Developments (CBD), with University of Canberra Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Deep Saini and Icon Group CEO Mark Middleton turning the first sod on the site yesterday.

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 Deep Saini said the centre will be a great facility for the Canberra community and, importantly, it will 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."

Icon Group CEO Mark Middleton said the centre will 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,” Mr Middleton 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 4,950 square metres, and sublease the space.

Tenants include Icon Group, which will operate an Icon Cancer Centre delivering comprehensive oncology services, the University of Canberra, which will operate an Allied Health Centre focusing on cancer rehabilitation and allied health services, and a radiology services provider.

This new centre 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.

The Canberra Specialist Medical Centre is scheduled to open in 2018.