Limited equipment worries cancer specialists

National, Normal

The National, Thursday July 25th, 2013


TWO female Australian cancer radiation therapists are concerned about the lack of radiation specialists and equipment in the country.

Catherine Beaufort and Katrina Woodford, from the Alfred Hospital in Melbourne, were disappointed to see only one radiation machine catering for 7.5 million people.

They said the country required adequate radiation therapists at the national cancer treatment centre in the Angau Memorial Hospital, in Lae, to cater for the increase in patients.

“PNG and Australia have been too close and neighbours for decades so how come (PNG) is struggling with few specialists and equipment for cancer treatment?” Beaufort asked.  

She said with fewer specialists, there was little education on cancer services. They were engaged by the University of Technology’s Applied Physics Department to teach four students studying radiation therapy.

“Three radiation therapists using one machine to treat number of patients is inadequate while cancer is among the major killer diseases in PNG,” she said.

Beaufort was attached to Unitech two years ago to help develop the course (Bachelor of Science radio therapist). She’s back with Woodford for three weeks.