The new radiotherapy centre at Altnagelvin was under the spotlight yesterday during a meeting between SDLP Foyle MLA Pat Ramsey and Dr Stephen Myers of the CERN institute in Geneva.
Mr Ramsey met Dr Myers in March 2013 at a committee visit to Geneva and invited him to Derry to visit Altnagelvin and the Radiotherapy centre, as Dr Myers is working on new radiotherapy methods at the CERN site in Switzerland.
Speaking to the Derry Journal Mr Ramsey said: “When I met Dr Myers in March we spoke at length about the new Radiotherapy Centre to be based at Altnagelvin.
“Dr Myers and his team in Switzerland are using new methodologies in radiotherapy that could revolutionise the treatment.
“It is imperative we use all the expertise, both locally and from around the world, to ensure our citizens have access to the best possible radiotherapy service when the new centre opens, which is why I have hosted this meeting with Dr Maurice O’Kane from C-TRIC and Margaret McIvor, Project Manager for the new centre at our hospital site.”
Mr Ramsey continued: “I want to thank Dr Myers and his office as well as those in the Western Trust locally who have helped organise this meeting.
“I am confident that we can build a partnership in this City which will benefit not only users of the new radiotherapy centre, but the whole area of radiotherapy research.”
The new Radiotherapy Centre at Altnagelvin is due to open in 2016- marking an investment of in excess of £56 million by the Department of Health is providing a state of the art Radiotherapy Centre in Derry.
The establishment of the new facility will mean that 90% of patients in Northern Ireland will be within one hour of a radiotherapy service.
This will greatly ease the burden of travel on ill and frail patients.”
The £50 million unit will be located beside and connected to the existing Cancer Unit - the Sperrin Suite.
Approximately 220 new posts across a range of specialities and disciplines will be created at the unit.