Prime Minister Chris Hipkins and Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall proudly opened the Canterbury Cancer Centre in Christchurch today.
The new facility is the first of its kind and was built with $6.5 million of funding from the Government’s Infrastructure Reference Group scheme for shovel-ready projects allocated in 2020. The Centre offers 50 rooms for patients and families of the South Island, and is a space for organisations providing cancer services to co-locate and collaborate from.
“The Canterbury Cancer Centre will play an important role for families and individuals who are on cancer journeys. I am proud that this government provided funding for such an important facility. It will be a home away from home for many who are going through a tough time,” said Ayesha Verrall.
“In April 2020, during COVID, we tasked industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that were ready to start as soon as the construction industry could return to work. Seeing the results of this funding take shape all over New Zealand is really heart-warming.
“Labour stands by its record in supporting those with cancer. We set up the Cancer Control Agency, rolled out a nationwide bowel screening programme and purchased more linear accelerator machines. We’re also paying the staff who look after those patients better and building the hospitals that are needed,” said Ayesha Verrall.
“We have also significantly increased Pharmac’s funding since coming into Government. Pharmac’s budget for 2023/24 will be around $1.3 billion. The increase in funding means that since 2017 they have made 214 funding decisions, including 76 new listings and the widening of access to 138 treatments.
“The Canterbury Cancer Centre will be a key resource for the people of the region.”