Scot MacDonald
20th Jul 2018

Cancer patients in the Hunter region will benefit with one of Australia’s first $4 million digital PET/CT* cameras in Hunter New England Imaging’s Nuclear Medicine Department.

Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter, Scot MacDonald MLC said that the new camera, located at the Calvary Mater Newcastle, is a vital piece of imaging equipment used in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer.

“The District previously used a PET/CT camera, but in the current climate of rapidly changing technology, this new digital camera is needed to enable the continued delivery of quality services,” Mr MacDonald said.

“With the new $4 million GE Discovery MI Digital camera, Hunter New England Imaging will be able to perform scans with a much greater image resolution.

“The digital PET/CT camera can identify much smaller cancer lesions and measure the success of treatment with greater precision. Therefore, this improved accuracy will provide a greater level of assurance to cancer patients that their treatment is progressing,” Mr MacDonald said.­­­­­­­

The Digital PET/CT camera operates at a faster rate and uses very small doses of radiation, with the amount of time that the patient is on the scanner almost halved. 

“This was the first digital PET/CT installed in Australia and we are excited about securing this important technology for our patients in the Hunter,” Mr MacDonald said.

A second PET/CT camera has since been installed at Liverpool Hospital.

While the primary function is the detection and treatment of cancer, the capability of digital PET/CT is rapidly expanding and there are developing indications for its use in other areas of medicine including neurology, cardiology, infectious diseases, gastroenterology and rheumatology.

In 2018/19, the NSW Liberal National Government is investing more than $2.3 billion in capital works funding to continue building and redeveloping hospitals, health facilities and ambulance stations, as part of a record $8 billion investment over the next four years.

*Positron Emission Tomography - Computed Tomography (PET/CT)