The Morrison Joyce Government is strengthening the safety and quality of Australia’s cancer treatment programs by securing $2.5 million for the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) to acquire a new medical linear accelerator (LINAC) for its Melbourne-based laboratory.
Complementing ARPANSA’s current LINAC machine, this new secondary device will ensure a continuous supply of life-saving radiation therapy for cancers.
ARPANSA plays a vital role calibrating the radiation measurement devices for Australian hospitals to ensure that correct doses are administered to patients.
ARPANSA also operates the national dosimetry audit program, verifying that contemporary treatment techniques used by radiotherapy facilities are safe and accurate.
In addition, the LINAC machines are used to conduct cutting edge research into the spatial sensitivity of radiation detectors, the dosimetry of small clinical radiation fields and advanced auditing.
The LINAC will enable ARPANSA to ensure safe radiation treatment for every radiation oncology patient in Australia.
The Minister for Health, Greg Hunt said about 70,000 Australian cancer patients would be treated with radiation this year.
“The number of patients, the sophistication of their treatments and the quality and duration of their survivorship continues to increase,” Minister Hunt said.
“As the number of radiotherapy centres in Australia continues to increase, as does the technological sophistication within those facilities.
“We are ensuring that all Australians have access to safe and accurate radiotherapy treatment.
“Australia is at the forefront of radiotherapy research and treatment, and the Morrison Joyce Government is ensuring that this leading-edge medical equipment is safe to use now and into the future.
Minister for Regional Health, Dr David Gillespie said the Federal Government continues to ensure that the steadily increasing number of Australians being treated for cancer received cutting edge therapies, delivered safely.
“This investment in medical infrastructure will ensure these aims are met and ensure that people who live in regional areas can continue to receive modern and safe cancer treatment,” Dr Gillespie said.
“I visited the new Western Cancer Centre in Dubbo this week and met with the first patient who was treated there with a LINAC and heard how much of a difference being able to receive that treatment locally had made to him. I know this investment will help regional patients.”
Dr Gillespie said ARPANSA will have a state-of-the-art linear accelerator to maintain the high standards of calibration work and ensure that all Australians are protected from radiation while undergoing necessary radiotherapy treatments for cancer.