By Julie Badui Owa, EMTV News, Lae
The Health Minister, Sir Puka Temu says the National Cancer Unit in Lae will be rehabilitated, but he stopped short of saying when.
This will include an extension and construction of a new facility that will replace the old cancer unit built in the 1940s.
The new cancer facility is made possible through the passing of the radiation safety and control legislation in Parliament in January this year.
According to the Health Minister, Sir Puka Temu, the new facility will be ready to accommodate a new radiotherapy cobalt machine to treat cancer once the construction is done.
The National Department of Health will re-order a cobalt machine to replace the old machine at Lae’s Angau Hospital that has not been working since 2016.
PNG’s National Cancer Unit is located at Angau Hospital in Lae, Morobe Province.
The treatment of cancer includes surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
In order for the facility to operate as a national treatment unit, it needs to provide all treatment of cancer.
But, for almost 3-years, the cancer facility has not been providing radiotherapy treatment to its patients.
Cancer patients were told by doctors to seek treatment overseas. Those who have money travel overseas, others suffer, even to death while looking for funds.
Meanwhile, Port Moresby General Hospital’s new cancer facility will soon receive a linear accelerator machine to provide radiotherapy treatment for cancer patients in the country.
It is likely to operate in October this year. However, the Hospital does not have any cancer specialist.