Health minister considering re-opening Maryborough pathology
HEALTH Minister Cameron Dick is considering a request from Member for Maryborough Bruce Saunders to reopen the pathology unit at the Maryborough Base Hospital.
Mr Dick has met with Mr Saunders to discuss the future of pathology at the hospital.
"I am giving consideration to his request to re-open the unit after it was closed by Campbell Newman and his government in 2012," Mr Dick said.
"Mr Saunders feels strongly about the matter and has certainly been making representations about reopening the unit."
The Maryborough community has fought hard to have the pathology unit re-opened.
As of June 2 a petition by Mr Saunders had about 5000 signatures with a month to go before it closes.
A gelato store owner turned politician, Mr Saunders said Mr Dick's commitment to consider the proposal was a "good sign".
"The electorate's making the noise and I'm leading the charge but the people are pushing me forward," he said.
"Without them I couldn't do it because I need to show the minister and the department down here the need is there for it."
However Mr Dick could not say whether investigations or costings had been done into reopening the department.
He said a lack of certainty from the Federal Government over funding created difficulties in long-term planning.
"I will continue to work with Mr Saunders and the Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service about the possibility of reopening the unit," he said.
And Mr Saunders intends to keep up the fight - joking that he had become a pest to the Health Minister.
"I keep hammering the minister's office - constantly I'm on his back," he said.
"Every time he sees me he avoids me and walks the other way."