THE number of staff and equipment at the National Cancer Treatment Centre is not enough to cater to the increasing number of cancer patients.
Officer-in-charge Dr John Niblett said the number of cancer patients had increased nationwide.
“However, the centre has only one cobalt radiotherapy machine and three qualified radiotherapists,” Dr Niblett said.
The radiotherapy machine at the treatment centre was the only one in PNG and could treat a maximum of 24 patients at a time. Currently, there are 16 patients on the waiting list for radiotherapy.
The centre was resurrected in the middle of this year after 10 years due to the lack of staff and equipment and is located at the Angau Memorial Hospital in Lae.
A radiotherapy machine costs around K3 million.
Meanwhile, the centre was being assisted by the Lae Filipino community to secure funding for the salary of a nutritionist.
A nutritionist would develop adequate diets for the cancer patients because the meals provided by the hospital did not cater to the specific needs of cancer patients undergoing either radiotherapy or chemotherapy.