Cancer survivor may have to wait another year for surgery

HEALTH Minister Steven Miles has been directed to personally follow up the case of Kate Yeoman after she complained a promise of immediate breast reconstruction surgery had not materialised.

Ms Yeoman bared her scars in a brave front-page story in The Sunday-Mail in which she revealed she had been waiting eight years after breast cancer for the important surgery, and wanted it so she could "feel like a whole woman" again.

Kate Yeoman had a double mastectomy eight years ago after being diagnosed with cancer and is still waiting for a reconstruction. Picture: Brian Cassey
Kate Yeoman had a double mastectomy eight years ago after being diagnosed with cancer and is still waiting for a reconstruction. Picture: Brian Cassey

Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington told Parliament this morning Ms Yeoman had finally had an appointment earlier this week but had been told she may have to wait another year.

"When Kate contacted me today she said Queensland Health have said she may have to wait another 12 months before seeing a surgeon," she said.

"After so many years of waiting, why has the Palaszczuk Government just given Kate false hope instead of the care she needs?"

The Health Minister has been directed to follow up Kate Yeoman’s case. Picture: Brian Cassey
The Health Minister has been directed to follow up Kate Yeoman’s case. Picture: Brian Cassey

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said she did not know the latest about Ms Yeoman's case.

"I'll ask the Health Minister to follow up," she said.

"As I said clearly in this House yesterday, it's a very sensitive issue and anyone who has gone through breast cancer and reconstruction, it's deeply personal and, of course, we want to make sure that they are being dealt with in the most sensitive way.

"The Minister is going to personally follow up with the department to talk to the individual."

On Sunday, Mr Miles said he had been personally moved by the plight of four Cairns women who have been waiting years for breast reconstruction surgery at Cairns Hospital after their cancer diagnoses and who spoke of the impact that wait has had on their self-esteem.

He ordered the hospital to meet with each of the women to give them ­answers.

"My heart breaks reading the very personal stories of women affected by breast cancer," Mr Miles said on Sunday.

"I've asked for Cairns Hospital to meet with these patients to ensure they receive their surgery as soon as clinically possible.


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