Bush cancer care blasted

THE LNP has called on new Health Minister Geoff Wilson to redress the health divide in Queensland and particularly the lower cancer survival rates in the bush.

LNP Shadow Minister for Rural and Regional Queensland Howard Hobbs said the Cancer Council’s findings that more than 1200 regional Queenslanders would be alive today had they received better care could not be ignored.

Mr Hobbs said the Council’s Atlas of Cancer showed deaths rates in the bush were far higher than in Brisbane and other cities because treatment and care was so much better.

“New Health Minister Geoff Wilson needs to respond as quickly as possible,” Mr Hobbs said.

“The problem stems from the fact that there are only four public hospitals in Queensland that provide radiation therapy services for cancer sufferers.

“Three of those are in Brisbane, the fourth is in Townsville and it’s overloaded.

“Rural and regional Queenslanders have become the forgotten people under the long-term Labor government and the lack of access to decent health services is a major problem that’s costing lives.

“In the case of cancer treatment, it’s 1200 lives.”

Mr Hobbs said the LNP was committed to increasing the travel subsidy to help regional Queenslanders travel to the cities for health care.

“We also need to better utilise the existing equipment in our public hospitals to treat more cancer patients,” he said.

“In the case of radiation therapy, Queensland Health needs to move out of its nine-to-five mentality, keep the lights on longer, and employ more specialists so more cancer patients can be treated.”

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