Gympie MP David Gibson with dialysis petitioners last month, accepting the biggest petition presented to Parliament this year.
Gympie MP David Gibson with dialysis petitioners last month, accepting the biggest petition presented to Parliament this year. Craig Warhurst

Patients express 'disappointment'

MARYBOROUGH dialysis patients have expressed disappointment at the official response to their concerns about having to travel to Gympie for treatment, potentially overloading Gympie’s facilities and forcing our kidney patients to seek treatment at the Sunshine Coast or Brisbane.

The Gympie facilities were installed only after a lengthy community campaign, led by health volunteer Henry Himsley.

Dialysis at Maryborough secretary Anne Maddern said yesterday that she and her organisation were disappointed at the response from Health Minister Paul Lucas to their 8000-signature petition.

The petition was presented to state Parliament last month by Gympie MP David Gibson.

It was at that time the largest petition presented to the Parliament so far this year.

The petition, which was signed by 8298 people, called on Queensland Health to establish a dialysis unit at Maryborough Hospital.

Explaining Mr Gibson’s involvement at the time, Ms Maddern said: “David kindly offered to present the petition to the Queensland Parliament.

“We have been campaigning for some time for dialysis in Maryborough but now that Queensland Health has begun to transfer patients to the Gympie Hospital we sought the support of your local Member in our fight.”

Mr Gibson said he had concerns for the wellbeing of Maryborough people forced to travel and the increased pressures this would place on Gympie Hospital resources.

In his response, Health Minister Paul Lucas said he welcomed the feedback and described the situation as “regrettable” but did not promise any immediate action.

He said the department now offered free transport from Maryborough and promised to “develop plans for sustainable renal services.”

Gympie Times


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