Hervey Bay Hospital Emergency Department. Photo: Alistair Brightman
Hervey Bay Hospital Emergency Department. Photo: Alistair Brightman

Fight to turn empty hospital space into Coast cancer care hub

ABOVE Hervey Bay Hospital's emergency department is a space which is not yet in use.

One Nation candidate for Hervey Bay Damian Huxham says that if elected, he'll fight for this to become a new oncology unit.

The need for better cancer care close to home, he says, has been reinforced recently after watching two loved ones endure travel as gruelling as the treatment.

"After seeing first-hand the disruption to the family unit, the inconvenience, financial concerns and stress put on families and loved ones having to travel back and forth from Brisbane to get treatment, I would like to work towards providing the people of Hervey Bay and those residing closer to Hervey Bay than Brisbane, the opportunity to be treated locally to ensure stability to any family having to seek treatment and through a traumatic even of their lives," Mr Huxham said on Monday

 

FRASER COAST VOTES: One Nation's Hervey Bay candidate Damian Huxham outside Hervey Bay State High School on election day.
FRASER COAST VOTES: One Nation's Hervey Bay candidate Damian Huxham outside Hervey Bay State High School on election day.

"More funding is required to increase the level of services available at our hospital, the current oncology services locally don't include all patients and all levels of treatment.

"As this is a very emotional and stressful time in any person's life, being able to offer treatment locally is something that's long overdue for our growing regional population."

When the new hospital extension opened in June last year Queensland Health said the hospital had been built for "future growth" and as a result, not all spaces were in use.

The hospital has been a key battleground for Bay candidates in recent weeks.

The LNP used Hervey Bay as its launch pad for a $300million surgery blitz to clear the state's waiting list backlog.

 

Hervey Bay, AUSTRALIA – NewsWire Photos October 12, 2020: Queensland opposition leader Deb Frecklington speaks to emotional Hervey Bay resident Ray Stone who has spent a long time on waiting lists for important medical care. : NCA NewsWire / Sarah Marshall
Hervey Bay, AUSTRALIA – NewsWire Photos October 12, 2020: Queensland opposition leader Deb Frecklington speaks to emotional Hervey Bay resident Ray Stone who has spent a long time on waiting lists for important medical care. : NCA NewsWire / Sarah Marshall

Meeting with locals who were on the waitlist, Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington, alongside outgoing MP Ted Sorensen and LNP candidate Steve Coleman said her party would partner with private hospitals to get the work done.

One the same day, Queensland Labor minister Leeanne Enoch was at the Hervey Bay Hospital with Bay Labor candidate Adrian Tantari announcing a Palaszczuk Government would hire 330 more frontline health staff for the Wide Bay.

This would include 221 nurses, 65 doctors and 44 health professionals.

 

Environment and the Great Barrier Reef, Minister science and Minister the Arts Leeanne Enoch with Labor Candidate for Hervey Bay Adrian Tantari outside the Hervey Bay Hospital.
Environment and the Great Barrier Reef, Minister science and Minister the Arts Leeanne Enoch with Labor Candidate for Hervey Bay Adrian Tantari outside the Hervey Bay Hospital.

Independent candidate for Hervey Bay Stuart Taylor was first to flag a major upgrade at the hospital as one of his election pledges this campaign.

He wanted to see the children's ward at the Hervey Bay hospital relocated to elsewhere on the hospital grounds, describing the current design as an afterthought.

 

Former Fraser Coast councillor and Hervey Bay state election candidate Stuart Taylor is also pushing for a new state high school.
Former Fraser Coast councillor and Hervey Bay state election candidate Stuart Taylor is also pushing for a new state high school.

He said the ward was in a section of the hospital which required sick kids to walk through an adult ward and be exposed to medical events and other patients.

He also wanted to ensure the nurses were able to view general and isolation rooms from their station which was not currently possible.

What would you like to see at the region's hospitals? Email jessica.grewal1@news.com.au