Cancer survivor Sheree Wirihana believes more oncology consultations sessions are needed in Gladstone.
Cancer survivor Sheree Wirihana believes more oncology consultations sessions are needed in Gladstone. Jen Tybell

Oncology doctors deliver hope

AN oncology clinic will operate from the Gladstone Hospital from late this month.

The clinics will be held on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month.

Acting facility manager, Gladstone Hospital, Rod Brennan said Dr Paul Mainwaring and Professor Kerry Atkinson of the Mater Hospital had agreed to hold the public clinic at Gladstone Hospital.

“We are very grateful to Dr Mainwaring and Professor Atkinson for their support in providing this service,” Mr Brennan said.

Gladstone resident Sheree Winhana was diagnosed with breast cancer in April and is having chemo and radiotherapy in Gladstone and Brisbane.

Ms Winhana said the oncology consultations were needed, especially in rural area as it was expensive to travel to Rockhampton or Brisbane.

It's very important because you're in a situation where you can't work,” Ms Winhana said.

“You have to go through treatment that costs quite a bit of money and your family is rearranged around different things because you're getting treatment.”

Ms Winhana said it was difficult to fit into oncology schedules because there were only two doctors who visited Gladstone for oncology sessions.

“It was difficult, but then I was put through as a public patient at the Mater Hospital with Dr Atkinson. There are no other people to go to in Gladstone besides them so it's good to hear that they are now offering other available times,” she said.

Mr Brennan said Queensland Health had not cut the public oncology service.

“The private oncologist who provided some public treatment withdrew his service and there was no other medical oncologist who was in a position to visit Gladstone,” Mr Brennan said.

“The service was offered at Rockhampton by medical oncologists visiting from the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital. This meant they could see patients at Rockhampton and treat them under supervision at Gladstone when it was safe and appropriate to do so.”



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