‘I’ll die be­fore I head south’

Told no bud­get for tu­mour re­moval

Sunshine Coast Daily - - NEWS - SCOTT SAWYER [email protected]­news.com.au

RAY Be­van is pre­pared to die be­fore he goes to Bris­bane for treat­ment of a skin can­cer tu­mour on his head.

The 77-year-old Ma­roochy­dore man had been pre­par­ing for surgery at the new $1.8 bil­lion Sun­shine Coast Uni­ver­sity Hospi­tal when he said he was told this week there was no bud­get for his oper­a­tion and he would have to travel to Royal Bris­bane Hospi­tal.

Mr Be­van said he’d seen a stream of spe­cial­ists and sur­geons at the Sun­shine Coast Uni­ver­sity Hospi­tal over the past cou­ple of weeks in prepa­ra­tion for his surgery.

But ear­lier this week he was called and told by a woman that he had an ap­point­ment with a spe­cial­ist in Bris­bane on Fri­day. He re­fused.

On Wed­nes­day he was phoned again and told he had to keep the ap­point­ment.

Again, Mr Be­van re­fused, telling them he was hav­ing his surgery at SCUH.

“I said ‘no, I am not com­ing down there on Fri­day’,” he said.

He said the woman told him he needed to go down there be­cause it was “too big” of an oper­a­tion.

Soon af­ter he said he had a call from a staff mem­ber at SCUH.

“She said ‘look, to tell you the truth, we haven’t got the fund­ing to do it. It’s a pretty ex­pen­sive oper­a­tion’,” Mr Be­van said.

“We were all in agree­ment all the way through.

“Ev­ery­thing was look­ing rosy right up un­til yes­ter­day (Wed­nes­day).”

Mr Be­van said it was “dis­gust­ing” that there was no bud­get for his oper­a­tion at a new hospi­tal he said had been built to stop peo­ple on the Coast hav­ing to go to Bris­bane.

“I’ve got all my stepchil­dren and my wife here,” he said.

He said he wouldn’t be able to re­cover know­ing he was put­ting oth­ers out and his wife would be un­able to visit him reg­u­larly in Bris­bane.

“I’m not sit­ting on my hands on this,” he said.

“If they can’t get fund­ing down there to this hospi­tal they may as well go down there and close the doors.

“It’s my tu­mour, if I have to I’ll keep it, but I am not go­ing to Bris­bane.”

Sun­shine Coast Hospi­tal and Health Ser­vice chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer Kar­lyn Chet­tle­burgh said they couldn’t com­ment on an in­di­vid­ual pa­tient’s treat­ment without con­sent, but the “com­plex surgery” re­ferred to was not cur­rently pro­vided by the ser­vice.

“Over the next six months, we will be en­hanc­ing Sun­shine Coast Uni­ver­sity Hospi­tal’s abil­ity to pro­vide this type of surgery,” she said.

“Pa­tients re­quir­ing com­plex surg­eries that are not avail­able at SCHHS are re­ferred to other hos­pi­tals to en­sure they re­ceive the treat­ment they re­quire.

“In the mean­time, pa­tients are man­aged by their lo­cal hospi­tal to en­sure they con­tinue to re­ceive care and treat­ment closer to the home prior to surgery.”

State Op­po­si­tion Leader Deb Freck­ling­ton said she sym­pa­thised with Mr Be­van and his fam­ily and said it was “re­ally not good enough”.

Photo: John McCutcheon

NOT BUDG­ING: Ray­mond Be­van is very un­happy that he has been told to go to Bris­bane to have a tu­mour op­er­ated on.

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