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Take a look inside our new Tissue Pathology and Diagnostic Oncology Department at RPA!

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17th March, 2024

The Minister for Health Ryan Park has officially opened the Tissue Pathology and Diagnostic Oncology Department at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, part of the NSW Government’s $940m hospital redevelopment.

Patients across Syd­ney and beyond are ben­e­fit­ting from NSW Health Pathology’s new state-of-the-art Tis­sue Pathol­o­gy and Diag­nos­tic Oncol­o­gy depart­ment that has been offi­cial­ly opened as part of the Roy­al Prince Alfred Hos­pi­tal (RPA) Redevelopment.

The new Tis­sue Pathol­o­gy and Diag­nos­tic Oncol­o­gy Depart­ment, which began oper­at­ing in Novem­ber 2023, is deliv­er­ing high-qual­i­ty, future-focused care for patients, while pro­vid­ing staff with the lat­est design, equip­ment and sys­tem capa­bil­i­ties to man­age grow­ing demand.

The pur­pose-built depart­ment replaces the for­mer facil­i­ty at RPA, which last year processed over 48,000 patient sam­ples for a vari­ety of can­cer diag­nos­tic tests.

It fea­tures state-of-the-art equip­ment to per­form the lat­est can­cer diag­nos­tic test­ing and report on clin­i­cal cas­es, result­ing in improved turn­around times and improved patient care.

The Min­is­ter was shown the tech­nol­o­gy that allows our pathol­o­gists to con­nect via audio-visu­al link to RPA’s sur­geons while they are oper­at­ing, to give an imme­di­ate diagnosis.

The Minister looking at a microscope, while a surgeon appears on a video screen in the background.
The Min­is­ter is shown the tech­nol­o­gy that allows pathol­o­gists to com­mu­ni­cate with sur­geons as they operate.

The new loca­tion brings togeth­er the Anatom­i­cal Pathol­o­gy and Cytol­ogy teams, tak­ing them clos­er to the Chris O’Brien Life­house, which will mean bet­ter response times for urgent test­ing of sam­ples for can­cer patients.

Chief Exec­u­tive of NSW Health Pathol­o­gy Vanes­sa Janis­sen said the new facil­i­ty was a game-chang­er for bet­ter patient care.

“As the role of per­son­alised med­i­cine expands and starts to become rou­tine care, we are see­ing increas­ing demand and com­plex­i­ty in anatom­i­cal pathol­o­gy and cytol­ogy, and these facil­i­ties mean our teams at RPA are well placed to help meet this emerg­ing clin­i­cal need,” Ms Janis­sen said.

“The refur­bished facil­i­ty is also the work­place of 2024 Joint Aus­tralian of the Year, Pro­fes­sor Richard Scoly­er, a world-lead­ing melanoma pathol­o­gist whose work has helped to trans­form treat­ments and patient out­comes for this dead­ly form of skin cancer.”

At the open­ing cer­e­mo­ny, Ms Janis­sen thanked the many peo­ple who worked to ensure the NSW Health Pathol­o­gy lab­o­ra­to­ry was com­mis­sioned on time.

“To our team’s cred­it, our ser­vices kept going and moved in stages to min­imise impact of the move on ser­vices and our patients,” she said.

“I heard sto­ries of staff com­ing in on their week­ends to coor­di­nate the move­ment of equip­ment, per­son­al items and ensure a seam­less transition.

“Thank you to Pro­fes­sor James Kench, Local Pathol­o­gy Direc­tor and Pro­fes­sor Ruta Gup­ta, Clin­i­cal Direc­tor – who have been instru­men­tal in lead­ing and over­see­ing this lab from the ear­ly con­cept plans to the world class facil­i­ty we have today,” Ms Janis­sen said.

Ruta Gupta in a laboratory being interviewed by a man holding a news microphone.
Prof Ruta Gup­ta being inter­viewed by a Sev­en News jour­nal­ist at the offi­cial opening.

“Also Bob­by Dim­itri­jovs­ki, Senior Oper­a­tions Man­ag­er, who has led our local team in such a col­lab­o­ra­tive way, and real­ly brought all the stake­hold­ers together.

“Thanks to Kris Avery, for­mer Lab Man­ag­er and Car­lie Wiers­ma, cur­rent Lab Man­ag­er, who have pro­vid­ed incred­i­ble sup­port to the team dur­ing all stages of the move.

“Thank you also to Dinah Con­stan­tine from our plan­ning team – your exper­tise was vital to the move being such a success.

“We are also so grate­ful to Health Infra­struc­ture and RPA Rede­vel­op­ment team, espe­cial­ly Samar Zakaria, Kather­ine Ben­nett, Kristi­na Zarkos, Eve Laing and Meenal Shar­ma, and to Brad Miller from Barpa Builders.

“The last few years have been an extra­or­di­nary time for all who work in health, includ­ing our ded­i­cat­ed pathol­o­gy staff who have worked tire­less­ly to meet the extra­or­di­nary demand. Every­one in our health sys­tem has con­tin­ued to show great resilience and innovation.

“I know this refur­bished facil­i­ty and enhanced space will bring many ben­e­fits to patients and their loved ones fac­ing some of their biggest chal­lenges, and I thank every­one involved for their ded­i­ca­tion and com­mit­ment,” Ms Janis­sen said.

A group of people gather outside a purple brick building.
Staff gath­er to cel­e­brate with NSW Health Pathol­o­gy Chief Exec­u­tive Vanes­sa Janis­sen (front row 4th from right) and Syd­ney Local Health Dis­trict Chief Exec­u­tive Dr Tere­sa Ander­son (front row 3rd from right).


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