Bill Bull is driving himself to and from Gympie for dialysis treatment, his other option being leaving his car at the side of the highway.
Bill Bull is driving himself to and from Gympie for dialysis treatment, his other option being leaving his car at the side of the highway.

Risky to leave car for treatment

NINE Fraser Coast dialysis patients are being taken by ambulance to Gympie Hospital.

But Bauple dialysis patient Bill Bull, 56, who aired his concerns to the Chronicle last month over the shortage of local renal facilities, yesterday said he had driven himself to Gympie on Thursday for treatment.

“I don’t want to risk leaving my car on the highway at the closed Mountainview service station site, which is what St John’s needs me to do if I am to go in an ambulance.

“So I’m driving there and back every two days and that’s fine.”

But the other eight patients, Mr Bull said, were being taken to Gympie and back by ambulance every two days.

“There are seven from Maryborough and one other person from Bauple.”

Mr Bull had been driving himself to Hervey Bay Hospital for treatment.

“I guess this puts paid to my hope – many of our hopes – that the government would reopen the dialysis unit at Maryborough Hospital.

“I’m told off the record by people in Queensland Health that the plan is to extend Hervey Bay Hospital even though it’s land locked.”

“The Fraser Coast Renal Service has recently experienced significant growth in the demand for renal dialysis,” said Sunshine Coast-Wide Bay Health Service District Northern Cluster manager Beth Norton.

“To ease the pressure at Hervey Bay Hospital, there is the capacity to use renal chairs at Gympie Hospital. This capacity will be used to help during this time of high demand and will allow the Fraser Coast service to provide dialysis to new patients.

“The health service will provide return transport to Gympie for the renal dialysis patients at no cost.”

Mr Bull said the extra cost to the public of using ambulances to ferry patients to and from Gympie was “ridiculous”.

“Why can’t they just reopen Maryborough’s facilities?”

It costs about $60,000 a year to treat a dialysis patient.



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