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Community & Business

11 December, 2020

Sick and tired.

A Mareeba resident who has to travel to Atherton twice a week for dialysis because he is sick said he is tired of al the travelling.

By Phil Brandel

Mareeba resident Paul McGregor – Jones who said he is sick and also tired of all the travel he has to do to get Atherton twice a week.

Sick and tired.

A Mareeba resident who has to travel to Atherton twice a week for dialysis said he is sick and tired of the travelling.

Paul McGregor – Jones started dialysis about 18 months ago, originally travelling to Cairns twice a week as the dialysis chairs in Atherton were all booked out. At the time it was a 6 hour round trip which Paul said took up a lot of his energy.  “I’m 77 and I had to get a cab to Cairns, the driver then had to wait for me for four hours and then drive me home, it cost over 400 dollars per day,” he said.

“It was a waste of time and money.

“If they had a couple of dialysis chairs in Mareeba, it would actually save the government money.”

Due to a chair becoming available, Mr Jones now travels to the Atherton Hospital twice a week

Mr Jones said it’s not just about the patients. “A lot of people have carers or partners so that means they have to come to the hospital and wait between 4 – 5 hours as well,” he said.

As reported in last weeks The Express The Cairns and Hinterland Hospital Health Service (CHHHS) admitted that there were two dialysis chairs sitting at the Lotus Glen correctional facility doing nothing.

“We hear all these promises about improving health and they have two chairs sitting in the jail empty doing nothing,” Mr Jones said.

“It’s just ridiculous that they are sitting there doing nothing.

“There are at least 13 people travelling from Mareeba to Atherton 2- 3 times a week with drivers, or carers or their partners. It’s just a waste of time and money for everyone.”

Mr Jones said that if they had dialysis chairs in Mareeba it would help Atherton Hospital.

“It would relieve the pressure as there are people on the waiting list to get into Atherton.

“It would save me 4 hours a week if they had a chair in Mareeba and I only go twice a week. I feel sorry for the people who have to travel further and more often.

“Some people have to spend five hours in the chair add on travel time and it’s a whole day wasted.”

Mr Jones also had a few words to say to local politicians. “We haven’t heard much from our local member, she hasn’t said boo about this,” he said.

“She seems to live in Cairns and that’s her place,”



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