Cancer survivers Eric and Carla Cross played a critical role in gathering the necessary support for the petition, which accumulated over 1500 signitures. File Photo.
Cancer survivers Eric and Carla Cross played a critical role in gathering the necessary support for the petition, which accumulated over 1500 signitures. File Photo.

Specialist Cancer Nurse petition reaches state parliament

A PETITION calling for the appointment of a Specialist Cancer Nurse for the South Burnett has officially been tabled in state parliament by opposition leader Deb Frecklington.

A Cancer Care Nurse Navigator role was operating in the South Burnett for nearly two years, and when the service ceased in 2019, patients were devastated to lose such as important service, which helped them to better understand and navigate the health system during their cancer journey.

The role will now be general and not specific to a particular disease. When the specialised position was made redundant, there were 76 active clients, with 10-12 new referrals each month.

"There are a large number of cancer patients in the South Burnett, with the number of people dying from cancer in Murgon, Cherbourg and Wondai 15% above the national average and 9% above the average for Kingaroy," Ms Frecklington said.

"While I appreciate this new role is also important, cancer patients are telling me that they are very disappointed to lose this essential cancer specific service, which guided them through their cancer journey."

With the petition having accumulated more than 1,100 hard copy signatures and more than 400 online signatures, it will now be presented to state parliament for formal discussion.

"This is a really important petition which has received widespread support from the South Burnett community," Mrs Frecklington said.

 

Local cancer survivor Eric Cross played a leading role in supporting MP Deb Frecklington's petition for a Specialist Cancer Nurse to be reinstated in the South Burnett (Photo: Nanango Electorate Office)
Local cancer survivor Eric Cross played a leading role in supporting MP Deb Frecklington's petition for a Specialist Cancer Nurse to be reinstated in the South Burnett (Photo: Nanango Electorate Office)

"I would like to especially thank Eric Cross, who was the Principal Petitioner, and his wife Carla for making sure copies of the petition were available throughout the community. There were many other dedicated supporters as well and the number of signatures shows just how much the community wants this service to return.

Kingaroy locals Eric and Carla Cross are both themselves cancer survivors, and were the faces for Kingaroy Relay for Life in 2019.

Health Minister Steven Miles has four weeks to provide an official response.

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