D.C. approves proton beam cancer centers

,The Washington Post Friday, May 31reports on a new cancer therapy:

“D.C. health officials on Friday approved plans for two of the region’s largest hospital systems to offer a controversial cancer treatment , allowing MedStar Georgetown University Hospital and Sibley Memorial Hospital to establish proton beam therapy programs.

In making the decision, health officials chose to approve a slimmed-down version of Sibley’s proposal and the original MedStar proposal, a D.C. Health Department spokeswoman said.

The decision has been closely followed by health experts because critics say it reflects a nationwide medical arms race, as hospitals scramble for dominance by investing millions of dollars in technology that has not been proven to be better than cheaper alternatives for some cancers.

In addition, the University of Maryland’s proton centre in Baltimore is expected to start treating patients in two years; a proton centre at Hampton University in Virginia’s Tidewater area, about 180 miles to the south, opened in 2010…..”

I wonder when if ever this treatment will be available to Regional Health Services in the UK? If we accepted overt rationing it should be possible to aspire to excellence..


This entry was posted in A Personal View, Community Health Councils, NHS managers, Patient representatives, Political Representatives and activists, Stories in the Media, Trust Board Directors on by .

About Roger Burns - retired GP

I am a retired GP and medical educator. I have supported patient participation throughout my career, and my practice, St Thomas; Surgery, has had a longstanding and active Patient Participation Group (PPG). I support the idea of Community Health Councils, although I feel they should be funded at arms length from government. I have taught GP trainees for 30 years, and been a Programme Director for GP training in Pembrokeshire 20 years. I served on the Pembrokeshire LHG and LHB for a total of 10 years. I completed an MBA in 1996, and I along with most others, never had an exit interview from any job in the NHS! I completed an MBA in 1996, and was a runner up for the Adam Smith prize for economy and efficiency in government in that year. This was owing to a suggestion (St Thomas' Mutual) that practices had incentives for saving by being allowed to buy rationed out services in the following year.

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