CQ cancer battlers to get radiation at Rockhampton Hospital

AFTER confirming a specialised contract with a private service provider, hundreds of Central Queensland cancer sufferers will be able to receive their radiation treatment in Rockhampton.

CQ Hospital and Health Service chief executive Len Richards said having the treatment available locally would mean a marked improvement to treatment numbers.

"In Central Queensland only 29% of cancer patients currently receive radiotherapy treatment, which means about 340 people do not access the therapy," he said.

"Figures show the mortality risks for Queenslanders diagnosed with rectal cancer increases on average by 6% for every 100km in distance a person lives from the closest radiotherapy facility."

Mr Richards said bunkers had already been put in place to house the "linear accelerators" for the radiation therapy, which will be available in the first quarter of 2016.

Health Minister Cameron Dick announced the service, which will be composed of 27% contracted staff and 73% government staff, earlier this week.

When discussing the move in Parliament on Thursday, Mr Dick said the mixed system move was always part of the plan.

"We understand the reality of a mixed health care system in Queensland. We will work now towards the delivery of that in 2016," he said.

"We have committed to transitioning over time to a full public service in Rockhampton. As we always do, we understand our mixed system and we work with contractors as necessary."

Shadow Health Minister Mark McArdle also asked Mr Dick in Parliament to advise when the successful tenderer would be announced for the service.

Though the winning tenderer was not identified, Mr Dick said procurement was continuing.