New hope for genetics centre
PATIENTS from Suffolk could soon be travelling to a pioneering new medical genetics centre in Cambridge. The centre is set to be built at Addenbrooke's Hospital, and health authorities around the region are being asked to contribute towards its £8.
By Tracey Sparling
PATIENTS from Suffolk could soon be travelling to a pioneering new medical genetics centre in Cambridge.
The centre is set to be built at Addenbrooke's Hospital, and health authorities around the region are being asked to contribute towards its £8.5million cost, and future running bills.
But they will not have to fork out for the extra running costs until after 2005, at a rate of £400,000 a year shared out between them. Suffolk's annual contribution then will be almost £15,000 which will jump to nearly £28,000 in 2006.
Medical genetics is the field of researching genetic factors in human disease, and doing genetic screening programmes for patients.
The current service in Cambridge also has DNA diagnostic laboratories and cytogenetic labs where chromosomes are studied, as well as genetic counselling clinics.
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It aims to make sure everybody across the region has equal access to it.
A report due to be discussed by Suffolk Health on Wednesday said: "Medical genetics is a rapidly developing speciality, with significant potential to change the way that medicine is provided in the next five to ten years.
"Cancer genetics accounts for much of the recent growth in activity.
"Increasingly, patients within the present Eastern region will look to Addenbrooke's for a core medical genetics service."
The idea for a new centre has been approved, and Suffolk, Norfolk and Cambridgeshire will be asked to support the decision next week.