The Northern Territory government has recently announced a significant milestone in the development of the PET Scanner Project for Royal Darwin Hospital, with the project tender being awarded for construction this week.
Local construction company, Sitzler, have been confirmed as the contract winner for the $6-million-dollar project. Based in Berrimah, Sitzler have been involved in many other high-profile projects, including the Darwin Convention and Exhibition Centre.
In a statement, Minister for Health, Natasha Fyles emphasised the progress of the project as a huge win for the people of Northern Territory.
“Territorians want and deserve to be able to access high quality services,” Ms Fyles said.
“The PET scanners are a critical diagnostic tool, providing detailed medical scans that can help with the early detection and treatment of diseases like cancer,” she said.
Ms Fyles also highlighted the importance of having such services available in the Northern Territory, which would eliminate future instances necessitating interstate travel, a dilemma which has risen its head in the past.
“The project opens up the Territory as a hub for PET Scanner research in Northern Australia and the Asia Pacific Region,” she said.
Ms Fyles also cited the impact which the project will have in bringing additional employment opportunities to the region.
"The project will create more than 60 jobs, including Indigenous employees and apprentices," she said.
Part of a jointly-funded $18-million-dollar initiative between the Commonwealth and Territory Governments, the project will not only deliver the PET scanner service, but also the associated cyclotron that makes the ink used for the medical scans.
It is believed that Sitzler will begin construction on the project in the coming months, and expect the facility to be completed and operational in late 2018.
Where possible, the project will aim to minimise the impact which the project will have on the patients and staff of Royal Darwin Hospital.