A Statutory Body of the Ministry of Health

South East Regional Health Authority

National Cancer Treatment Centre Opened at St. Joseph's Hospital

Nov 26, 2018  |  Kingston

Dr. Praveen Sharma, Consultant Oncologist explains how the Linear Accelerator works to Minister of Health, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton (second right), (L-R Front row) Ms. Merle Donaldson, board member, CHASE Fund, Mr. Everton Anderson, CEO, National Health Fund and Ms. Maureen Golding, Regional Director, SERHA. L-R (back row) Mr. Billy Heaven, CEO (partially hidden), CHASE Fund, Mr. Julian Robinson, Member of Parliament, South East St. Andrew, Dr. Carey Wallace, Executive Director, Tourism Enhancement Fund and Mr. Wentworth Charles, Chairman, KPH Hospital Management Committee and Dr. Dutris Bourne, Regional Technical Director, SERHA.

The National Cancer Treatment Centre was officially opened on November 26, 2018. The centre which is located on the grounds of the St Joseph's Hospital in Kingston is expected to provide world-class cancer.

It is the second such facility to be opened on the island. The other, which was opened a year ago, is located at Cornwall Regional Hospital in Montego Bay, St James.

The US$15-million state-of-the-art facility was funded by the National Health Fund, CHASE Fund, Tourism Enhancement Fund and multiple other stakeholders.

During the opening ceremony, Minister of Health, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton noted that cancer patients will have access to treatment using state-of-the-art linear accelerators, which is a shift from cobalt radiation therapy. Cobalt Radiation uses gamma rays to treat cancer, while the linear accelerator delivers high-energy x-rays or electrons to the region of the patient's tumour.

Minister Tufton also pointed out that the "linear accelerator is considered to be one of the most advanced in the world, and Jamaica can claim credit to have this piece of the equipment in two locations".

Medical authorities emphasise that the LINAC devices will increase the efficacy of cancer radiation treatment as well as accessibility to cancer care in Jamaica. Services include external beam radiation treatments, image-guided radiation treatment, intensity-modulated radiation treatment, and high-dose brachytherapy.

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