ROCKHAMPTON cannot afford to lose Dr Antonio Vega Vega.
That was the message sounded yesterday by three former patients of the beleaguered urologist.
Gordon Hanrahan, Ken Day and John Holland had their prostates surgically removed after being diagnosed with prostate cancer.
The radical prostatectomies were performed by Dr Vega Vega at the Mater Hospital in Rockhampton.
They cannot speak highly enough of his ability as a surgeon, and his pre and post-operative care.
"He is a brilliant doctor, a brilliant surgeon," said Mr Hanrahan, who had his surgery in July 2012.
"I have complete and utter trust in him. I couldn't recommend him enough.
"He is the most compassionate, dedicated and caring specialist that I have ever encountered."
Dr Vega Vega, who has completed more than 1000 surgical procedures in Central Queensland, was stood down from his role at Rockhampton Hospital on April 29 after allegedly botching four surgeries.
He is being investigated for removing a healthy kidney; misdiagnosing a twisted testicle, leading to its removal; nicking an artery; and wrongly inserting a stent.
He has since launched an appeal to have his medical licence reinstated.
Mr Hanrahan, Mr Day and Mr Holland want to see that happen.
They said the negative publicity that has ensued prompted them to throw their support behind Dr Vega Vega.
"Dr Vega Vega did a magical job for me," Mr Day said. "I cannot fault him at all. I am 100% happy."
Mr Holland, who had his operation in January last year, said he wanted to see the community get behind Dr Vega Vega.
"He's done a lot of good things and I think he should be recognised for it."
The three men said they empathised with any patient who did not have positive outcomes but said there were risks associated with every surgical procedure.
They were also concerned that if Dr Vega Vega was not reinstated, Rockhampton could also lose the services of his cardiologist wife.
"That is two specialists Rocky can't afford to lose," Mr Holland said.
"Two damn good ones," Mr Hanrahan added.
May 2012: Dr Vega Vega makes headlines after performing a radical prostatectomy in a first for Rockhampton Base Hospital.
May 6, 2014: Central Queensland Hospital and Health Service chair Charles Ware announces that Rockhampton Hospital suspended Dr Vega Vega on April 29 for allegedly botching four surgeries.
June 12, 2014: The Bulletin reports that Dr Vega Vega has launched an appeal to have his medical licence reinstated.
June 23, 2014: Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal to hear Dr Vega Vega's appeal.