Comprehensive cancer treament centre opens in Laval
With the official opening of a new cancer treatment centre in Laval on Feb. 20, Quebec can now boast it has a network of a dozen such facilities all over its territory.
In a gesture suggesting the strategic importance the Quebec Liberals accord the Laval region, Premier Jean Charest was on hand for the inauguration of the $65.9 million facility.
He was accompanied by Health Minister Dr. Yves Bolduc, Fabre MNA and Minister for Laval Michelle Courchesne, Vimont MNA Vincent Auclair, Laval-des-Rapides MNA Alain Paquet, Chomedey MNA Guy Ouellette and Mille-Îles MNA Francine Charbonneau (all of them Liberals).
“Today’s opening shows the priority that our government gives to the fight against cancer,” Charest said. “With the opening of this centre, in addition to one in the Montérégie last June, Quebec now has 12 radio-oncology centres established in nine different regions. These health-care facilities, for radiotherapy as well as for other oncology specialties, allow all of Quebec's territory to be covered, taking into account that cancer is now the principal cause of death in Quebec.”
While the cancerology centre has only fully opened recently, Health Minister Bolduc said the chemotherapy unit there has been up and running since last June and its capacity is around 9,000 treatments annually. He said the radio-oncology unit will be able to treat 1,500 patients per year, while in the long run that number will increase to 2,400 annually.
At Cité de la Santé
The cancerology centre is located in a 7,000-square-metre building next to Laval’s main hospital, the Cité de la Santé. Among the centre’s cutting-edge equipment are two linear accelerators for use in radiation therapy, with two more to be added in 2015. There are 30 treatments rooms for chemotherapy, a room for internal radiotherapy, two units for computed axial tomography (CAT scan), a dental facility, a pharmacy, a laboratory and an information centre for patients.
The provincial government paid most of the cost ($62.6 million), with the CSSS de Laval contributing $1.7 million, and $1.6 million coming from the Fondation Cité-de-la-Santé. Courchesne said that in addition to providing services for people in Laval, the new cancer treatment centre will also be taking in patients from the Laurentian region and from Lanaudière. “Until now, a large number of patients had to go to radio-oncology centres on the island of Montreal,” she said. “This will be much less the case now.”
Ahead of schedule
Vimont MNA Auclair said the centre’s opening was meaningful to him as it is located in his riding, “even though there’s no doubt it’s a project for all of Laval, and no doubt also for the larger area outside Laval, and something of which we can all be proud.” Charest noted that the project was completed for less than the budget had allocated and ahead of schedule.