The construction of a new state-of-the-art nuclear facility will help ensure regional Australians are no longer at risk of missing out on potentially life-saving scans.
On September 30, the federal government announced a $30 million project to design a "world-leading" nuclear medicine facility in Sydney.
The building is expected to cost well over $100 million to construct and will replace the existing, out-dated facility at Lucas Heights.
It will manufacture nuclear medicine which is used in advanced scans that can detect cancers and examine the behaviour of diseases on a molecular level.
Dr Geoff Currie, a professor in nuclear medicine at Charles Sturt University in Wagga Wagga, said in recent years nuclear medicine shortages have caused regional Australians to miss out on the potentially life-saving scans.
"It's very easy when resources are scarce to channel them into the big capital cities and what happened is communities like Wagga missed out and people in regional communities were forced to go without these essential services," Dr Currie said.
"We don't want our patients either missing out or having to ship themselves off to Sydney or Melbourne to be able to have those life-saving or life-changing scans so I think this new facility should be welcomed by our communities."
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He said the construction of this new facility would help the supply-chain stay strong and ensure no shortages can cause regional Australians to be left behind.
Over 10,000 Australians receive patient doses of nuclear medicine each week and it is estimated most Australians benefit from these medicines at least once in their lifetime.
Angus Taylor, the acting Minister for Industry, Science and Technology, said the new facility will not only improve health care in Australia but will also support nearly 1000 highly-skilled jobs across the country.
"Nuclear medicine is an essential part of an advanced healthcare system and helps save lives - that's why we're acting to secure a reliable nuclear medicine supply for future generations," Mr Taylor said.
"Early diagnosis saves lives and reduces longer-term demand on the health system. Importantly, there is also an increasing number of nuclear medicines with direct therapeutic applications - treating for example, a number of cancers."
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