News Release Archive

Cape Breton's long awaited for cancer treatment radiotherapy unit
for cancer treatment has been given the final go ahead by the
provincial government.

The project will go out to tender by July 15, and once a tender
is accepted, treatment will be available at the facility within
12 - 18 months.

"Today's announcement reaffirms our commitment to providing
community-based care for cancer patients in Cape Breton," said
Premier John Savage. "People requiring specialized treatment must
be able to access that treatment close to their homes and
families, without having to take on the added stress and expense
of a long journey to Halifax at such a difficult time."

The premier noted that Cape Breton has some of the highest
mortality rates of cancer for the whole of Canada.

"Cape Bretoners have worked very hard to establish comprehensive
cancer treatment facilities close to home and clearly the need is
there, from both a practical and a compassionate point of view.
Now that we are past the preliminary stages of preparing for this
facility, we must move forward without delay."

The premier commended the Cape Breton Regional Hospital
Foundation and members of the community for their success in
raising $6 million towards the facility. The money raised by the
foundation will cover the costs of purchasing equipment,
including two linear accelerators. The Department of Health will
cover the costs of operating the facility, projected to be in the
vicinity of $1 million per year. The department will also pay the
$1 million bunker reconstruction cost necessary to accommodate
the new equipment.

Premier Savage said the new facilities will enhance the high
level of skill and infrastructure that makes the Cape Breton
Regional Hospital an important regional health care centre.

He said that clinical evaluation, therapeutic decision-making,
treatment planning as well as actual treatment will take place in
Sydney when the centre opens. In addition, patients will benefit
from an improved continuity of care because their family
physicians will be able to remain involved throughout the course
of treatment.

Radiation oncologists, physicians and therapists will also be
required to operate the unit. Overall, a total of 15 full-time
positions will staff the unit.


Contact: Ann Graham Walker 902-424-2590 or (Cell) 902-497-3857

         Chris Hansen      902-424-5925 or (Cell) 902-499-0962

trp                     June 18, 1996 - 4:00 p.m.