Tweed MP Geoff Provest.
Tweed MP Geoff Provest.

Service battle spreads

TWEED MP Geoff Provest will head over the border in his quest to bring radiation therapy to the Tweed.

Mr Provest said he would like to hold a meeting with Queensland Health Minister Paul Lucas to talk about bringing radiation services to cancer patients in the Tweed and southern end of the Gold Coast.

“We want it to be integral, not fragmented like it is now. The new Gold Coast hospital being built in Parkwood will have radiation treatment but it won't be enough to service the entire Gold Coast,” Mr Provest said.

“Who cares if radiation treatment is 200 metres over the border in Queensland or in New South Wales. At the end of the day I hope common sense prevails.”

Mr Provest's comments followed a small turn out to his Rally for Radiation yesterday.

About 20 people attended the public forum at the Tweed Heads Civic Centre.

“I thought a few more people would turn up but it was still a good start for us.

The rally was held to inform the community about cancer and question Tweed Hospital's lack of radiation services. Tweed Hospital oncology nursing unit manager Sue Brooks and medical oncologist Dr Ehtesham Abdi spoke on their experience working with cancer patients.

A lot of people are suffering unnecessarily,” Dr Abdi said.

“It's a major problem and it would be good to get all these services together in the one place for people.”

NSW Cancer Council north coast area manager Patty Delaney also addressed the crowd and cancer patients Henri Hutchinson and marathon swimming legend Linda McGill spoke on their experience with cancer and radiation services.

The rally was intentionally held on Daffodil Day, Cancer Council's biggest fundraiser.

New South Wales Health Minister John Della Bosca did not attend the rally despite an invite from Mr Provest.

“Dr Abdi told me that Mr Della Bosca spent a good 20 minutes inspecting the cancer ward and talking with him during his trip to the hospital.

“I was happy to hear that,” Mr Provest said.

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