Tragic loss of top sur­geon

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - RACHEL RI­LEY

THE Townsville med­i­cal com­mu­nity has paid trib­ute to highly re­spected heart sur­geon Dr Al- Mu­tazz Diqer who died on Mon­day af­ter a short bat­tle with lung can­cer.

Dr Diqer, or “Mo” as he was known, trained at the Univer­sity of Jor­dan and went on to be­come the di­rec­tor of car­dio­tho­racic surgery at the Arab na­tion’s Univer­sity Hos­pi­tal af­ter com­plet­ing his car­dio­tho­racic train­ing in pri­vate hos­pi­tals in Syd­ney.

The fa­ther- of- two ( pic­tured) moved to Aus­tralia in 1993 to work at Syd­ney’s St Ge­orge Hos­pi­tal be­fore mov­ing north to Townsville at the end of 1994.

He be­gan work­ing as a staff spe­cial­ist in car­dio­tho­racic surgery at Townsville Hos­pi­tal and a vis­it­ing se­nior con­sul­tant in car­dio­tho­racic surgery at the Cairns Pri­vate and Townsville’s Mater Hos­pi­tal, where he re­signed ear­lier this year.

He was also ap­pointed a clin­i­cal se­nior lec­turer at James Cook Univer­sity.

Dr Diqer treated hun­dreds of public and pri­vate pa­tients dur­ing more than 20 years of work in the North, in­clud­ing sav­ing the life of Fed­eral Kennedy MP Bob Kat­ter.

“I was wrongly di­ag­nosed and Mo re­alised my crit­i­cal con­di­tion and car­ried out an im­me­di­ate op­er­a­tion to save my life, a quadru­ple by­pass,” Mr Kat­ter said. “Mo was ex­tremely pop­u­lar with his col­leagues and his pa­tients; he was a char­ac­ter about town.”

Mater Health Ser­vices North Queens­land CEO Ger­ard Wyvill said Dr Diqer’s pass­ing had shocked and sad­dened many staff and the hos­pi­tal ex­tended its deep­est sym­pa­thy to his fam­ily.

MHSNQ car­diac unit man­ager Gary Lopez said Dr Diqer was a con­fi­dent, com­pe­tent, and some­what head­strong char­ac­ter, and his pri­or­ity was al­ways his pa­tients.

“It didn’t mat­ter if he lost sleep – it was all about the pa­tient,’’ he said.

MHSNQ ICU nurse unit man­ager Lau­r­raine Raleigh worked with Dr Diqer for 20 years. “He had a very gen­er­ous spirit and so­cially he was en­ter­tain­ing and funny.”

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