New Northern cancer treatment centre in Prince George

A new cancer treatment centre for Northern BC is in the works.

The Northern Cancer Control Strategy released its request for proposals for the BC Cancer Agency Centre for the North in Prince George on Friday.

Prince George-Mount Robson MLA Shirley Bond says the centre will provide Northern residents increased access to cancer treatment and diagnostic services closer to home.

She says she hopes to have the centre ready for 2012.

The Northern Cancer Control Strategy includes an agency centre for the North, increased radiation therapy treatment, renovations to the Prince George Regional Hospital to accommodate a new six-bed oncology unit, and the acquisition of new equipment and information technology like Telehealth.

Once submissions to the RFP are received and evaluated, a preferred proponent will be selected and offered the opportunity to negotiate an agreement to design, build and finance the cancer centre, as well as provide facility maintenance services in the long run.

The selection of the preferred proponent is expected to occur this coming fall. Renovation at the Prince George Regional Hospital to expand the Diagnostic Imaging and Laboratory will start in summer 2009.

Construction of the BC Cancer Agency Centre for the North will start in the fall of 2009. Health services will be funded by the Province of British Columbia through the Provincial Health Services Authority, the BC Cancer Agency, and Northern Health, in keeping with the Canada Health Act.

Currently, the BC Cancer Agency operates regional centres located in Surrey, Vancouver, Victoria, Kelowna and Abbotsford.

When completed, the BC Cancer Agency Centre for the North will become the sixth regional cancer centre in British Columbia.

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