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Concept plan approved for new cancer centre in Kamloops

Kamloops is one step closer to having a new cancer centre at the Royal Inland Hospital (RIH).

On May 25, the Government of BC announced that the concept plan for a new cancer centre has been approved and business planning is now underway to determine the project scope, schedule and budget.

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When open, the new centre will help make BC cancer-care systems better equipped to deal with the demand from a growing and aging population by adding expanded cancer treatment facilities and oncology services.

“By building a new cancer centre in Kamloops, we are bringing cancer care closer to home for patients and families in the Interior,” said David Byres, the president and CEO of the Provincial Health Services Authority.

Concept planning is a key part of the capital management and funding process that takes into account the need for investment, including identifying specific needs and how a project can support service-delivery requirements to ensure the specific needs of the community are addressed.

The new centre is expected to provide space for:

  • patient arrival and check-in
  • radiation treatment, including three shielded treatment rooms, known as bunkers
  • three high-energy radiation treatment linear accelerators (LINACS)
  • radiation therapy planning
  • one CT simulator
  • one MRI scanner
  • an outpatient oncology ambulatory care unit, including 10 exam rooms and two consulting rooms
  • staff support, including offices and workstations

Plans are also underway to build a 470-stall parkade to support staff, patients and visiting family and friends.

The investment in new radiation treatment services in Kamloops will prevent the need for patients to travel to cancer centres elsewhere, such as Kelowna, for treatment.

It is expected the new centre will provide radiation treatment to 1,000 patients in its opening year, which will result in 14,000 treatment visits per year.

Additional diagnostic and treatment equipment and services may be identified as a requirement for the new cancer-care centre during the business planning phase.

Some cancer-care services are currently delivered in Kamloops through a community oncology clinic at RIH, but it cannot meet the projected regional demands for service.

The clinic features oral and intravenous cancer treatment, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, targeted therapy and hormonal therapy.

In addition to building a new cancer centre, upgrades to the community oncology clinic have also been approved.

Hospital upgrades will include the modernization and increase in the number of cancer treatment spaces and exam rooms at RIH.

The new cancer centre is a part of the 10-year BC Cancer Action Plan, which outlines steps to better prevent, detect and treat cancers, delivering improved care for people facing cancer now while preparing for the growing needs of the future.

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