Long wait for vital health check
WAITING in limbo, Steve Anderson is in dire need of a colonoscopy.
The 47-year-old has been ill for more than a year and a half, suffering in discomfort, and has been on waiting lists for what could be a life-saving procedure.
Having watched his mother succumb to a 15-year battle with bowel cancer, Mr Anderson knew when similar symptoms appeared that something needed to be done.
"I'm on the waiting list as a high priority and a colonoscopy is a rather basic procedure," he said.
His private health insurance wouldn't cover the procedure due to it being a pre-existing condition.
When he and his wife Monique last month heard State Premier Campbell Newman boast of fixing waiting lists, his frustration was compounded.
"It really ticked us off to hear Newman say that," he said. "We were told we would have a two-month wait but it's been far longer than that already."
Mackay Hospital and Health Service executive director of clinical services Dr David Farlow said there was a high demand for colorectoral services at Mackay Base Hospital and waiting list times were longer than recommended.
"Mackay HHS is investing in additional services to reduce outpatient waiting times between now and 2015," Dr Farlow said.
Mr Anderson said he was "ready to roll" for the procedure and his work understood he could drop everything tomorrow to secure his health.
He is one of 739 category one patients awaiting a specialist at Mackay Base Hospital for a green light to have the surgical procedure.
"We have made the decision that if nothing is done by mid-January we are going to have to find the money to go through the private system.
"If it is worst case scenario and it's cancerous then that will obviously change my whole life."
Mr Anderson said the procedure would cost him "at least five or six" thousand dollars to go through the private system.
"Having seen what Mum went through, her quality of life would've been far greater if waiting lists weren't so lengthy."