Cancer charity in crisis faces staff cuts, possible shutdown
ICONIC Sunshine Coast cancer centre will be forced to cut back on staff, patient care, or even close if urgent funding is not met to save the charity.
Bloomhill Cancer Care in Buderim, which employs 47 people and is supported by 450 volunteers, has revealed fundraising was not keeping up with the demand of its 1228 patients.
The not-for-profit wellness centre has been based on the Sunshine Coast for 20 years and is dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for people living with and beyond cancer.
Bloomhill CEO Chris Franck said the centre had about 40 new admissions and 20 discharges every month - an additional 240 clients a year.
The centre has seen a 46 per cent increase in patients since 2013 and future projections indicated client numbers would double in 10 years.
While the popularity of the charity has soared, Mr Franck said the centre had become a victim of its own success.
"We are facing an unsustainable budget deficit while will mean reducing services and staff critical to our clients' well-being," he said.
Bloomhill approached the State Government to request funding and wrote to Health Minister Steven Miles about its dire situation.
Mr Franck said if a response was not received by February 15, "critical decisions" would be made.
About 80 per cent of Bloomhill's funding comes from 12 op-shops across the Sunshine Coast. The remaining 20 per cent come from community donations and bequests.
Mr Franck said while those donations were appreciated, it wasn't enough to match the growth.
Member for Fairfax Ted O'Brien called on the State Government to redirect the money promised for the Sunshine Coast medical school places to Bloomhill.
Mr O'Brien said he wrote to Mr Miles last year urging him to step in.
Bloomhill has launched an awareness campaign online at www.savebloomhill.com.au. Mr O'Brien urged everyone in the community to help out the valuable centre by visiting the site.