The first phase of the construction of the Oncology Centre at Mater Dei Hospital was approved by the Mepa board Thursday morning, the Times reports. The centre is to be built in an area currently used for a car park.
On completion, the report says, it will take over, and extend, the cancer services currently offered at Boffa Hospital. The centre will be developed over three phases. Approval was given unanimously by the board members and there were no objections from the public.
The €40m project is expected to be up and running by 2012, according to the report. It will cover about 15,000 square metres and have four primary areas: in-patients, out-patients, diagnostic and treatment areas, and support services. There will be 74 in-patient beds that will include 32 oncology beds, 16 for palliative care that focuses on reducing suffering, 10 for children and adolescents and 16 haematology beds to treat cancer in the blood.
The government had originally planned to transfer cancer services from Boffa Hospital to Zammit Clap Hospital but eventually decided to build the new centre at Mater Dei. Research shows that 1,250 Maltese people develop come type of cancer every year. About 700 deaths are directly attributed to cancer that is responsible for about 25 per cent of Malta’s annual death rate.
The cancer rate is expected to increase, especially given Malta’s ageing population, the Times concludes.
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