Renal dialysis patients, family and carers – Wilma and Glynn Turner, 15-year-old Geordie Bull, Lorraine Reid, Bill Bull and Gordon Anderson – gather at the Maryborough Hospital to voice their concerns to the LNP’s Anne Maddern (third from left) about the lack of dialysis treatment at the hospital during a visit from Shadow Health Minister Mark McArdle.
Renal dialysis patients, family and carers – Wilma and Glynn Turner, 15-year-old Geordie Bull, Lorraine Reid, Bill Bull and Gordon Anderson – gather at the Maryborough Hospital to voice their concerns to the LNP’s Anne Maddern (third from left) about the lack of dialysis treatment at the hospital during a visit from Shadow Health Minister Mark McArdle.

Sick of the trips for treatment

ANGRY patients tired of making regular trips to Gympie and beyond for dialysis treatment gathered at the Maryborough Hospital yesterday to voice their concerns while shadow health minister Mark McArdle was in town.

“It’s bloody stupid,” said Gordon Anderson of Maryborough, referring to the State Government health system that paid for dialysis patients to travel away for treatment while a hospital in Maryborough remained idle.

“I used to go to the Bay by ambulance,” Mr Anderson said.

“Sometimes there’d be two of us and it cost them (the government) $115 each. We could have gone by taxi at $70 ... they did that only twice.”

With Hervey Bay Hospital bulging with patients, Mr Anderson is just one of many who has recently been shunted to Gympie to relieve the pressure.

Glynn Turner said he was still being treated at Hervey Bay but knew he would soon have to travel away.

“I’m on the list to go to Gympie soon,” he said.

“They’re sending all the ‘able bodied’ people to Gympie so they can take new patients in.”

The LNP’s Anne Maddern said she had been inundated with similar complaints from patients who were frustrated and felt they were being pushed around.

“We’re not asking for a new hospital,” Ms Maddern said.

“We just want machines put in here so people don’t have to leave their homes for treatment and to take the pressure off other centres.

“It’s not like it’s for one-off procedures; we’re talking about three days a week, five hours a day for the rest of their lives.”

Mr McArdle said that at a time when the population was ageing and chronic disease was reaching crisis point the government should have planned better.

“It all seems so completely pointless when there is a hospital in Maryborough,” Mr McArdle said.

“Why hasn’t the government planned for Maryborough and why hasn’t the government provided resources and equipment for Maryborough residents?”

He also “rejected utterly” suggestions that the State Government did not have the necessary funds to outfit Maryborough Hospital with dialysis machines and staff.

“I don’t believe they could spend $10 billion on health and not provide some of it to dialysis delivery in Maryborough.

“Again this is an example of the government not planning, not understanding and not caring.”



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