Grim view for Gympie cancer care funding
GYMPIE people, no matter how generous, can no longer afford to spend $500,000 a year to support just one service, however vital.
That was the grim warning from Sue Manton, who co-ordinates the work of the region's Little Haven Palliative Care charity.
Ms Manton said the organisation and its people urgently needed more money from Queensland Health to keen functioning.
The alternative, hospital care, was not ideal for patients and would cost more for the government.
"QHealth funds approximately one-third of expenses. The gap in Little Haven's 2016/17 financial year is about $500,000," Ms Manton said.
"This has now become beyond the ability of a small community, albeit a very generous community.
"This year, Little Haven will post a deficit of $160,000.
"We would have had a deficit last year too, but someone left us a house, which covered that cost.
"Our objective of receiving funding for our nursing visits to palliative patients referred from the Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service seemed a reasonable request."
The Little Haven service had been lauded for providing "exceptional care" for patients who would not be accepted without funding, if referred to any other service.
"The HSS would have to carry the cost of equipment hire and transport, all of which Little Haven provides free of charge," Ms Manton said.
"In contrast to assertions (by Health Minister Cameron Dick) in The Gympie Times, we were told there was no more palliative funding available for community care and they have no plans to redirect funding allocated elsewhere," she said.
Ms Manton said Little Haven had a record of providing the most cost- effective service available and the best outcome for patients.
"The only advice on offer was simply to close our books and stop accepting early admissions to our service," she said.
"It seems there was little interest in the impact this would have on the patient, our community or the Gympie Hospital."