September 25, 2020
A petition calling for the appointment of a specialist cancer nurse in the South Burnett has been officially tabled in State Parliament by local Member, Deb Frecklington.
Mrs Frecklington said she was extremely proud to support the petition, which secured more than 1500 signatures.
“This is a really important petition which has received widespread support from the South Burnett community, with more than 1100 hard copy signatures and more than 400 online signatures,” Mrs Frecklington said.
“I would like to especially thank Eric Cross, who was the Principal Petitioner, and his wife Carla for making sure copies of the petition were available throughout the community.
“There were many other dedicated supporters as well and the number of signatures shows just how much the community wants this service to return.
“A similar service had been operating for nearly two years until it ceased in late 2019. So many people were disappointed to hear it would no longer be available as it had become much valued.
“In fact, when the service ceased in late 2019, there were 76 active clients, with 10-12 new referrals each month.
“There are a large number of cancer patients in the South Burnett, with the number of people dying from cancer in Murgon, Cherbourg and Wondai 15 per cent above the national average; and 9 per cent above the average for Kingaroy.
“In February this year I wrote to the Darling Downs Hospital and Health Service Board calling for the reinstatement of this specialist role.
“However, they have noted that the role will now be general and not specific to a particular disease.
“While I appreciate this new role is also important, cancer patients are telling me that they are very disappointed to lose this essential cancer specific service, which guided them through their cancer journey.
“The petition has called for the appointment of a specialist cancer nurse role for the South Burnett.
“The Minister for Health has four weeks to provide an official response and we are all hoping this petition will help convince them that we need this service returned.”