Work begins on new $100m National Cancer Centre

Minister of Education and Chairman of Brunei Investment Agency (BIA) Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia Dr Hj Abu Bakar Hj Apong (L) and Minister of Health Pehin Orang Kaya Johan Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Hj Adanan (C) study the model of the NCC yesterday. Picture: BT/Yusri Adanan

A NEW $100-million National Cancer Centre (NCC) would not only offer Bruneians the state of the art medical care, but would also open up employment opportunities for the locals.

This was underscored by the Executive Director of NCC, Dr Hj Mohd Syafiq Abdullah, yesterday during the foundation-laying ceremony of the new NCC building at the Jerudong Park Medical Centre's (JPMC) beach car park.

"One of our priority is to recruit local specialists," Dr Hj Mohd Syafiq said. "Not just to recruit, but also to train (them)", he added.

He explained that "what we (NCC) do at the moment is that we are working with the Ministry of Education (MoE) to discuss our requirements" because "we have a lot of students or qualified people, who are studying or working somewhere, but they might not know that these (opportunities) exist (here)".

"This means that the centre wishes to align its human resource needs by getting graduates with the right qualifications to work for NCC, with the help of the MoE."

"We convey the MoE what these (requirements) are and if there aren't, then we'll work with them about providing training programmes like we are trying to do now," he said.

He said the new NCC's concept is to provide patients with a holistic approach to healthcare.

He explained that the NCC aims to get a BCA Green Mark certification of the highest grade, ie the platinum grade, for the new NCC building. According to the BCA Green Mark website, BCA Green Mark is a benchmarking scheme that incorporates internationally recognised best practices in environmental design and performance by taking into consideration of reducing water and energy bills, reducing potential environmental impact, improving indoor environmental quality for healthy and productive workspace and also, to provide clear direction for continual improvement of the building.

The new NCC building, which is set to be completed by 2014, will have the ability to collect rainwater to irrigate the plants, and solar panels to harvest solar energy to power the garden or night lights as ways of supporting the overall function of the building.

He however added that "it's not just about wanting to save water and electricity".

"It's also about educating the public on awareness of their environment and of changing their mindset," he said.

Meanwhile, according to the press statement from NCC, the new building will have new departments such as Radiotherapy and Nuclear Medicine to provide enhanced treatment to patients locally rather than seeking overseas treatment. It will also feature state of the art equipments including PET/CT, linear accelerator and gamma cameras to keep up with the current medical technology, aligning with the NCC's mission of "enhancing lives through quality cancer services". The Minister of Education cum Chairman of Brunei Investment Agency, Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Hj Abu Bakar Hj Apong, officiated at the foundation-laying ceremony for the new NCC building. Also present during the ceremony were Minister of Health Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Johan Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Hj Adanan Begawan Pehin Khatib Dato Seri Setia Hj Mohd Yusof, Minister of Energy Yang Berhormat Pehin Datu Singamanteri Colonel (Rtd) Dato Seri Paduka (Dr) Hj Mohd Yasmin Hj Umar, Deputy Minister at the Prime Minister's Office Dato Paduka Hj Ali Hj Apong, Deputy Minister of Finance Dato Paduka Hj Bahrin Abdullah, permanent secretaries and board of directors.

The Brunei Times

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