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New unit a ‘game-changer’ for cancer patients in West


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

New unit a ‘game-changer’ for cancer patients in West New unit a ‘game-changer’ for cancer patients in West

The new €70 million radiation oncology unit at University Hospital Galway (UHG) will be a “game-changer” for cancer patients in the West of Ireland, according to the Minister for Health.

Minister Stephen Donnelly made these remarks as he cut the ribbon on the state-of-the-art facility on Friday last and said that the new facility was one of a number of investments the HSE was making to improve cancer care in Galway.

“Today is one step – a very important step – but only one step in rolling out better and better cancer services of the people of the West,” said Minister Donnelly.

He said that a “very large empty room” remained in the new building which would house a “very advanced MRI machine”, used specifically for those undergoing cancer-specific testing.

“It will be the first in Ireland and it will be here – it is going to improve the quality of the care that the healthcare professionals here can provide,” continued Minister Donnelly.

Building of the 8,000 square-metre Radiation Oncology Centre at UHG got underway in 2020 on the site of the former acute mental health unit and the new three-storey building includes six radiotherapy treatment vaults, equipped with the most advanced “linear accelerator technology”.

According to Saolta, the healthcare group which operates UHG, this technology “significantly increases the ability to target and treat tumours”.

“Three of the linear accelerators are currently operational with one more coming on stream on a phased basis. The remaining to vaults will allow for future expansion,” said a statement from the group.

Minister Donnelly said the arrival of these technologies in the West heralded a new era for cancer care in Galway.

“There are some patients who [previously] had to go to Dublin for some of the services that are now being provided here. It’s more accurate; recovery is better.

Pictured: Oncology staff with Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly, at the official opening of the Radiation Oncology Centre.

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