Merv Castledine is a happy recipient of a hand massage from oncology volunteer Fay Owens
Merv Castledine is a happy recipient of a hand massage from oncology volunteer Fay Owens

Battle to keep cancer doctor

lmcivor@gladstoneobserver.dyndns.org MORE than 30 cancer patients will lose access to their local oncology doctor at the Mater Hospital next month if funding isn't found. Funding from the federal government will end in April, which would mean patients will be forced to get their treatment in Rockhampton or Brisbane. It would be a disaster to lose the service, according to Fay Owens, a volunteer at the hospital. "These people shouldn't have their services disrupted, especially when the current doctor is prepared to stay and service these clients,'' Mrs Owens said. Member for Gladstone Liz Cunningham said it was vital to keep this service to ensure there was enough support for local cancer patients. "Dr Kerry Atkinson has been providing oncology services to 32 patients thanks to funding from the Medical Specialist Outreach Assistance Program (MSOAP),'' Mrs Cunningham said.



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