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Queensland Health responds to ‘life or death’ case 31 minutes after ‘shaming’

Neil Breen + Scott Emerson
Article image for Queensland Health responds to ‘life or death’ case 31 minutes after ‘shaming’

Despite the Premier last week asserting Queensland Health needs to do better, Queenslanders are still experiencing heartbreaking delays in coming home. 

Neil Breen has heard the “life and death” case of Maryanne Bedwell’s return home being delayed as she jumps through exemption system hoops.

Maryanne has a window of around six weeks to return home to Brisbane from Canberra, where she works, in order to acquire life-extending treatment.

She suffers from a rare form of non-Hodgkins lymphoma, which requires CAR T cell therapy that is only performed at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital.

While Maryanne submitted her exemption application to Queensland Health on September 6 for urgent consideration, until yesterday, she had heard nothing.

This was despite a letter of recommendation from hospital staff and the ever-closing window in which treatment is possible.

Press PLAY below to hear the full background of Maryanne’s story 

Her dad, Bruce Bedwell, told Neil Maryanne received a call from Queensland Health last night, exactly 31 minutes after her story was aired by the Seven Network.

“The only way for some people, Maryanne included, to get any progress is to really, just simply, shame the Queensland Health department into responding.

“For me, that’s been the most painful thing to watch.

“It shows to me there’s a fundamental problem in the system that can’t distinguish grades of urgency.”

Press PLAY below to hear Bruce Bedwell describe Queensland Health’s ‘mindboggling’ handling of the case 

Lymphoma Australia CEO Sharon Winton said it was “wrong on so many levels”.

“Right now, we have got cancer patients like Maryanne who have poor prognosis unless they get this treatment, like her dad said,” she told Scott Emerson.

“She can’t be denied that treatment.”

She said the CAR T cell therapy is “revolutionary”.

“It shouldn’t matter where you live right now if you need a a treatment for your cancer or any other disease like Maryanne does and it’s being performed at one of these hospitals, that’s where she needs to be.”

She said it was time to get a better process in place.

Press PLAY below to hear more about the complex therapy 

Image: Getty

Neil Breen + Scott Emerson