Cancer unit gets likely start date
By Alex Easton
CONSTRUCTION of the region's long-awaited integrated cancer and radiotherapy unit may begin in a little over two years and should be operating by 2011.
North Coast Area Health Service chief executive Chris Crawford confirmed the unit's probable 15-month construction time frame at a public meeting at Suffolk Park.
The regional health boss said work on the unit would take between 12 and 15 months and should be under way by 2010 or late 2009.
The new Richmond Clinic must be finished before work on the cancer and radiotherapy unit can begin and this is on track for completion by June next year. Plans for the unit are likely to be finished about the same time.
After the meeting, Mr Crawford said his dates were estimated on State Government commitments to have the unit built by the end of its term of office in April 2011.
However, he said he had no formal advice about start or finish dates for the unit, which makes up stage two of the Base Hospital redevelopment.
Asked by cancer survivors how to speed up the process, Mr Crawford urged people to write to Government and The Northern Star.
"Let government know you want it earlier and in this case write or email the Minister Assisting the Minister for Health (Cancer), Verity Firth. Letters to your local newspaper filter through as well," he said.
Emails to Verity Firth can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org and letters to Level 33 Governor Macquarie Tower, 1 Farrer Place, Sydney, 2000.
Emails to The Northern Star go to email@example.com and letters to The Editor, PO Box 423, Lismore.