Cutting-Edge Academy To Revolutionise Cancer Surgery

14 August 2018

The Andrews Labor Government is building an Australian-first academy to train surgeons from here and abroad to use revolutionary medical robots for minimally invasive surgery.

Minister for Health Jill Hennessy today announced $2 million to help the Australian Prostate Centre build the new international centre for excellence in medical robotics in Parkville – the heart of Victoria’s biomedical precinct.

The Australian Medical Robotics Academy will train the next generation of surgeons to perform cutting-edge procedures using robots on hard-to-reach and small internal spaces. It’s the first step in a major revolutionary advance in every day surgery.

Robotics surgery already features at a small number of private hospitals, but by training more surgeons, the Government is setting a blueprint for the procedures to become more commonplace throughout Victoria, Australia and the world.

Robotics surgery is mainly used to treat prostate cancer, but has also played a key role in gynaecological procedures and ear, nose and throat surgery. It is capable of greater precision and accuracy, so it can better target cancers and boost patient survival rates.

Other benefits can include lower risks of infection, shorter hospital stays, faster recoveries and quicker returns to work.

The new academy will feature world-class virtual reality surgical simulators for local and international surgeons to build their skills before live surgery. Like airline pilot training, the simulators provide feedback on errors and efficiency of surgeon movements.

In 2016, prostate cancer was the most common cancer in Victoria, with 4,784 men diagnosed and 781 men dying from the disease.

The Australian Medical Robotics Academy will be complete by the end of next year.

For more information visit

Quotes attributable to Minister for Health Jill Hennessy

“This cutting-edge facility will usher in a new age of surgery that will change the lives of patients from right around the world. It’s more proof Victoria is a world-leader in cancer research and innovation.”

“We’re putting Victoria at the forefront of the highest standards of surgical training. The world’s brightest medical minds will travel here from all over the world to learn new skills.”

“Our cancer survival rates are among the best in the world, but we’ll never rest on our laurels. Every day, we’re working to find cures, aid treatment and benefit the lives of patients.”

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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