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Wellington to get private cancer care unit

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 1/07/2016 Paul McBeth

Acurity Healthcare plans to open Wellington's first private cancer care unit in a $20 million joint venture with Australian cancer care provider Icon Group.

The Wellington-based private hospital operator has been keen on expanding into providing oncology and rehabilitation services and the planned investment with Icon will allow the company to do that, said chief executive Ian England.

"Often cancer patients have some surgery at some point in their treatment and of course, we have a lot of specialist surgeons here who do that sort of work ... we can wrap our services around patients and get them single end-to-end care," he said.

"We're trying to make a simple pathway for patients."

Acurity signalled the plans to provide oncology and rehabilitation services late last year, and the new unit will ultimately be housed with new equipment once Wakefield hospital has been upgraded.

In the meantime, Mr England said the unit is expected to open before Christmas, operating in Wakefield's existing premises.

The terms of the joint venture are still being finalised, though England anticipates it will be a 50:50 arrangement where Acurity provides the facilities and Icon the processes and policies.

Local medical specialists offer services in the unit, and Acurity said up to 20 staff will be employed by it.

The unit will have the capacity to treat 900 people a year, and will be complementary to existing cancer care offered by Capital & Coast District Health Board.

"The business case was built on this being a private unit providing care," Mr England said.

Once the unit is up and running, Wellington will join Auckland, Christchurch, Hamilton and Palmerston North in having a private healthcare provider with a cancer care centre.

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