By Aabigayle McIntosh
A team from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is scheduled to arrive on the island shortly to among other things inspect the Cancer Centre Eastern Caribbean and help determine the scope of work and staff complement that will be needed to get the facility back up and running.
Additionally, the team will also be seeking to ensure that the radiation used in the treatment of cancer patients remains intact.
Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff Lionel Max Hurst addressed the issue recently explaining that the IAEA team has the expertise to ensure that no radiation is leaking and that no one is placed in danger.
“The Cancer Centre is a place where radiation is applied in hopes of making those who are afflicted with that disease find treatment in Antigua and the walls at the cancer centre are as thick as 8 feet and that is to keep any radiation from leaking. So, when we asked the IAEA to conduct a study here it is for the purpose of ensuring that there is no leakage and that no one is in harm’s way.”
The government is in the process of finalizing certain legal aspects for its acquisition of the cancer centre so that it can be put back into operation to provide treatment for Antiguans and Barbudans who require cancer care.
Hurst said the matter is before the court since the facility was placed in bankruptcy and the parliament of Antigua and Barbuda has gone forward to claim the cancer centre as its own.
“So the only thing that matters now is coming to the conclusion as to the price to be paid by the government of Antigua and Barbuda and that requires that each side submit an evaluation that a third party decides what is the reason we have not gotten to that part as yet,”