The Royal Children’s Hospital’s Children’s Cancer Centre opens

Victorian Premier Steve Bracks and Commonwealth Minister for Health and Ageing Tony Abbott with Charlotte at the opening of the Children's Cancer Centre Photo: Paul Tresize, Herald Sun

Cancer patients and their families, staff and fundraisers celebrated the opening of the $23m Children’s Cancer Centre at The Royal Children’s Hospital today.  This is the second and final stage of improvements to cancer and neuroscience services at the RCH.  Stage 1, the Children’s Neuroscience Centre, was opened in September 2005.

Eight year old Charlotte Pope joined Victorian Premier Steve Bracks and Commonwealth Minister for Health and Ageing Tony Abbott, when they declared the centre officially open.  Charlotte was diagnosed with lymphoma when she was 5 years old.  She is now doing well and represented the hundreds of children who attend the hospital’s cancer centre each year when she shared centre stage with the Premier and Minister.

The redeveloped cancer centre has more in-patient beds with improved family facilities, and spacious out-patient treatment and waiting areas.  The centre brings clinical, outpatient and research facilities together on the one floor.  The new day chemotherapy room, once crowded and unfriendly, has spectacular views of Royal Park and a large fish tank as its focal point. 

The state and federal governments provided $17.3m towards funding of the new centre.  The Children’s Cancer Centre Foundation, Camp Quality, KOALA and the Australian Cancer Research Foundation provided the additional funding.

RCH chairman Tony Beddison AO expressed gratitude to all those who worked tirelessly to ensure the Children’s Cancer Centre became a reality.  ‘The children and their families are the true recipients of this generosity and I thank all contributors on their behalf,’ said Mr Beddison.

The RCH Children’s Cancer Centre treats 160 newly diagnosed cancer patients each year.  The centre’s vision is to improve the outcomes for all our children, through greater survival rates, less illness, improved treatments and increased availability of world class clinical trials.

Media contacts:  Julie Webber 9345 5130

Visit the Children’s Cancer Centre web site

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