R50m technology for radiology unit

2016-08-24 13:44
Celebrating the official launch of the new facility at Groote Schuur Hospital are, from left, Dr Bernadette Eick, Hester Burger, Dr Bhavna Patel (CEO of Groote Schuur Hospital), Nomafrench Mbombo (Minister of Health for the Western Cape), Professor Jeanette Parkes and Dr Reno Morar.

Celebrating the official launch of the new facility at Groote Schuur Hospital are, from left, Dr Bernadette Eick, Hester Burger, Dr Bhavna Patel (CEO of Groote Schuur Hospital), Nomafrench Mbombo (Minister of Health for the Western Cape), Professor Jeanette Parkes and Dr Reno Morar. (Gary van Dyk)

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Groote Schuur Hospital is celebrating another addition to its services with the official launch of the Linac bunker on Thursday 18 August.

This new facility at the hospital will be the third radiotherapy treatment machine in the Radiation Oncology department at the hospital and play a big part in reducing the time that a patient has to wait for treatment.

Hester Burger the head of Medical Physics explained that the hospital currently has 36 000 follow up patients that it sees in the oncology department.

“Then there is also the 3000 new patients that the department gets every year, of which approximately 1500 will require radiotherapy either as curative or as palliative treatment for cancer,” she says.

“These numbers shows the high prevalence for cancer in the Western Cape. In a recent study by the World Cancer Research Fund it was found that South Africa ranked 50th for prevalence of cancer in the world.

“With this increase the waiting period to get radiotherapy increases. Currently the waiting period is four to six weeks. We anticipate that the new machine will allow waiting times to significantly decrease to below four weeks which is in line with international norms.”

Approximately 30 to 40 patients are treated daily on each machine.

The new machine is the second machine at the hospital to deliver VMAT (RapidArc) treatment. In addition to conventional radiotherapy, this machine can also be used to deliver radiosurgery for a variety of malignant and benign conditions.

“As Groote Schuur Hospital is also a regional referral centre for children with cancer who require radiotherapy, we have designed the new bunker with the infra-structure required for daily anaesthetics for these children. There is an attractive waiting area, with a special play area designed for children and also a waiting area catering to the needs of adolescents.”

At the same time the oncology department is also introducing a new CT simulator. The CT simulator is a radiotherapy imaging device used in radiotherapy planning and will replace the aging CT machine.

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