Ground Broken At Site for LINAC Machine

Photo: JIS Photographer Former Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson, addressing participants at the ground breaking ceremony for a cancer treatment centre at the Cornwall Regional Hospital in Montego Bay, St. James on November 6. The Centre will house one of two Linear Accelerator (LINAC) machines for radiation treatment. The other machine will be established at the St. Joseph’s Hospital in Kingston.

Story Highlights

  • Former Minister of Health Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson on Friday, November 6, broke ground at the site at which the Linear Accelerator (LINAC) machine for radiation treatment will be placed at the Cornwall Regional Hospital in Montego Bay, St. James.
  • The hospital, will house one of the two machines in its Cancer Care Centre of Excellence which is being developed.
  • The other machine will be housed at a similar centre to be developed at the St. Joseph’s hospital in Kingston.

Former Minister of Health Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson on Friday, November 6, broke ground at the site at which the Linear Accelerator (LINAC) machine for radiation treatment will be placed at the Cornwall Regional Hospital in Montego Bay, St. James.

The hospital, will house one of the two machines in its Cancer Care Centre of Excellence which is being developed. The other machine will be housed at a similar centre to be developed at the St. Joseph’s hospital in Kingston.

The machines, estimated to cost US$15 million and funded jointly through the National Health Fund, the Culture, Health, Arts, Sports and Education (CHASE) Fund and the Tourism Enhancement Fund, will provide radiation treatment for cancer and cancer related illnesses.

The project will see patients, especially those less financially able, receiving quality care and treatment and a greater chance of recovery from such an illness.

Addressing participants at the ground breaking ceremony, Dr. Ferguson said the occasion was historic, and a victory for the provision of access to quality health care in Jamaica, especially for the poorer class.

He informed that in 2012, the worldwide burden of cancer rose to an estimated 14 million cases per year, a figure he said, is expected to rise to 22 million annually within the next two decades.

“In Jamaica there were 3,198 cancer deaths in 2010 accounting for 21 per cent of all deaths.  Cancer affects all ages, even our children.  The government has set a target to reduce the number of premature deaths…. by 25 per cent by the year 2025,” Dr. Ferguson argued.

The former Health Minister said that several steps have already been taken towards  improving the provision of treatment services for persons with cancer, as well as measures to address primary prevention, screening, early detection, diagnosis, rehabilitation, survivorship and palliative care.

“The development of the cancer treatment centre is a part of this holistic plan. Equipment for each site include one Linear accelerator, one CT simulator, one C-Arm mobile X-Ray unit and one Brachytherapy machine, with treatment planning system and related quality assurance equipment.  The Linacs are a major part of this mix, and they will revolutionize the way we deliver radiation treatment services in the public health sector,” Dr. Ferguson asserted.

 

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