Tragic loss of top surgeon
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.”