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Construction Begins on $17m Murdoch Hospital Oncology Facility

Patients set to benefit from comprehensive cancer services all under the one roof

PERTH, Australia – Construction of the new St John of God Murdoch Hospital’s $17m oncology facility is on track to deliver much needed comprehensive cancer care services for Western Australia when completed in early 2022.

A sod turning event was held this week to mark the start of construction.

The private radiation oncology facility in Perth’s southern metropolitan area will have capacity to treat up to 1,000 cancer patients a year and will be fully integrated into the Murdoch Hospital.

The new facility is the result of a partnership between Centuria Healthcare, St John of God Murdoch Hospital, and GenesisCare; Australia’s leading provider of radiation therapy services.

The building will be developed and owned by the Australasian real estate funds manager, Centuria Healthcare, expanding its existing healthcare presence in Western Australia.

In addition to radiation oncology, the facility will also offer ground-breaking theranostics and nuclear medicine services and will house the latest molecular imaging equipment, such as PET-CT and SPECT-CT, critical for directing and monitoring new targeted molecular therapies.

St John of God Murdoch Hospital and GenesisCare recognised a gap in the delivery of cancer services in the local area and have pursued this opportunity to ensure patients receive access to the highest quality of care closer to home.

St John of God Murdoch Hospital Medical Oncologist and Head of Department for Oncology, Haematology and Palliative Care, Associate Professor Kynan Feeney, said that the radiation bunker was an exciting step towards enhanced patient care.

“Along with the oncology services already provided in our Cancer Centre, access to radiation oncology, theranostics and new technology, including a PET-CT and SPECT-CT, will create integrated care in the one location,” he said.

“Patients who are too unwell to travel, including the many patients who receive palliative care at the St John of God Murdoch Community Hospice, will soon be able to easily access all of their treatment onsite at Murdoch.”

“Our medical oncologists and staff, who already work closely with GenesisCare’s radiation oncologists, will work even more collaboratively to ensure patients receive comprehensive, integrated and coordinated care.”

The cost of radiation therapy treatment will be largely covered by Medicare.

GenesisCare’s Acting General Manager for oncology in WA, Louise Coffey, said: “We are proud to be collaborating with St John of God Murdoch on this exciting project to establish the first private, integrated, hospital-based radiation oncology, nuclear medicine and theranostics facility south of the river.”

“The partnership aims to provide patients with rapid access to the latest treatment, techniques, diagnostics, PET CT and clinical research, including access to innovative theranostic treatments.”

Centuria Healthcare Managing Director, Andrew Hemming, said “We are delighted to be partnering with St John of God Murdoch Hospital and GenesisCare to deliver this state-of-the-art oncology facility for the Perth community.”

“We focus on acquiring healthcare assets that provide cost-efficient models of care, especially those that deliver complementary services within a single premise that are convenient and well-located for patients. When this oncology unit is completed, we believe it will be a gamechanger for local cancer patients. The facility will expand our Western Australian portfolio, which includes a number of hospitals, medical centres and aged care properties.”

St John of God Murdoch Hospital Chief Executive Officer, Ben Edwards, said this integrated facility will be a very important new service.

“The new radiation oncology service on site will create a real hub in Murdoch for comprehensive cancer treatment, and further cements us as the leading private healthcare provider south of Perth,” he said.

“We are pleased that we will be able to alleviate some of the demand for high quality private radiation therapy services in the local area by providing rapid access to the latest treatment techniques.”

“We are endeavouring to minimise the impact of construction on our hospital with the main works scheduled to take place over the summer holidays. We thank the community in advance for their patience to deliver this very important facility.”

GenesisCare Radiation Oncologist and Head of Department, Dr Tee Lim, said “This new facility will offer patients access to the latest techniques in radiation therapy, including volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT), deep inspiration breath hold (DIBH) and stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT).

“Theranostics, an innovative way of delivering targeted radiation to cancer cells, will also be available as part of the new comprehensive cancer service. This personalised approach to cancer therapy will be offered to suitable patients and will include lutetium-based therapies for prostate cancer, neuroendocrine tumours and other tumour types in the future,” said Dr Lim.

In addition to treatment services, GenesisCare will build on a local track record of innovation in theranostics by establishing a clinical research facility aimed at bringing new therapies to market.

Preliminary works are now underway, with services due to open by early 2022. For more information visit https://www.sjog.org.au/murdochradiationoncology