The operators of the cutting-edge cancer unit at Waterford’s Whitfield Clinic are set to sign a reputed €40 million service agreement with the HSE and private healthcare insurance companies.

The €60m private hospital at Butlerstown North was built by Dr Jim Madden of Eurocare International and opened in late 2006. The only radiotherapy provider in the southeast, its cancer unit is a joint venture with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC).

Though none of the parties are commenting, it’s understood the HSE will pay Whitfield Clinic €4m per annum over the deal’s five-year duration, with similar amounts being stumped up by Vhi, Hibernian, Aviva Health and Quinn Healthcare.

The contract will enable the facility to treat up to 70 patients a day within the region’s 560,000 population catchment. In its first full year the cancer centre treated 340 patients. This more than doubled in 2008 and the figure for last year was again well over 700.