Topics:  lawrence springborg, olive mcmahon lodge, toowoomba

Boost to travel subsidy for cancer patients welcomed

Cancer patient Rhonda Barbe chats with health Minister Lawrence Springborg.
Cancer patient Rhonda Barbe chats with health Minister Lawrence Springborg. Kevin Farmer

ROOM 20 at the Queensland Cancer Council's Olive McMahon Lodge in Toowoomba holds a special place in the heart of cancer survivor Rhonda Barbe.

Ms Barbe is recovering at the lodge after having her breast removed because of the ravages of cancer.

"I have been here for about a week now," Ms Barbe said.

"I live in St George so it has been a blessing to have somewhere close to the hospital where I can stay.

"It is just very convenient and such a wonderful facility," she said.

Ms Barbe has raised more than $14,000 to sponsor a room at the lodge.

"I lost my first daughter to breast cancer and my second daughter has recently undergone breast removal surgery," Ms Barbe said.

"It is something that is very close to my heart."

Ms Barbe had the opportunity to tell her story today to Health Minister Lawrence Springborg who visited the lodge.

During his visit, Mr Springborg announced that from next year the patient travel subsidy scheme would be doubled.

"It is the first time the subsidy has been increased in more than 25 years," Mr Springborg said.

"It will mean regional patients will have better access to life-saving health services."

Olive McMahon Lodge supervisor Leonie Hennessy said the services' offered at the lodge made a huge difference to cancer patients and their families.

"The facility is critical. There is nowhere else to go for regional patients," Ms Hennessy said.

"The feedback from patients is very positive.

"They take great pleasure in telling other people who are in a similar situation that this service is available," she said.



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