5 June 2024

South Coast MP admitted to hospital for surgery to remove tumour

| Claire Sams
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A woman standing in a paddock with cows in the background

South Coast MP Fiona Phillips will undergo surgery to treat an oral tumour before taking a leave of absence. Photo: Fiona Phillips MP/Facebook.

A South Coast MP has revealed she has been admitted to hospital for surgery to remove “a large oral tumour”.

The Federal Member for Gilmore revealed the diagnosis in a statement on social media on Tuesday afternoon (4 June).

“Following the surgery I will be taking an extended period of time over the coming weeks to fully recover at home,” she said.

“At this stage I do not know whether the tumour is benign or something more sinister, although tests over recent months have been as good as they can be.

“As always, my excellent Gilmore Electorate Office team will continue to be able to help with any federal matters.”

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Prime Minister Anthony Albanese led the chorus of members of the public and fellow politicians who sent their well-wishes to Ms Phillips.

“Thinking of you and wishing you strength as you recover Fiona,” he wrote.

The Federal Member for Boothby Louise Miller-Frost wrote, “I’m sure you’ll be jumping out of planes again soon!”, while NSW Senator Deborah O’Neill said she was “Sending every best wish for good news and a speedy recovery to full health”.

Ms Phillips was first elected to Federal Parliament at the 2019 election.

She beat the Liberal Party’s Warren Mundine by almost 6000 votes (two-party preferred) with a 3.3 per cent swing to Labor.

At the 2022 election, Ms Phillips was re-elected despite a 2.44 per cent swing away under a two-candidate preferred count.

A recount found she defeated former South Coast MP and NSW government minister Andrew Constance by 373 votes.

Before being elected to Parliament, she was president of the Australian Labor Party South Coast State Electorate Council (NSW) from 2014 to 2017 and served as a member of the Country Labor Committee (NSW) from 2016 to 2019.

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Mr Constance said he wished Ms Phillips a “speedy recovery and return to work”.

“Politics is one thing but your own health and loved ones are another thing altogether,” he said.

“Fiona in a very brave way has reminded us all of the need to ensure that with all things related to health [we] do not ever delay in getting checked.”

In her statement, Ms Phillips encouraged the public to make sure they looked after their own health.

“It’s also a timely reminder to make sure that you look after your own health. Don’t delay, do that regular health check. If you’re concerned about your health, see your health practitioner, it could just help save your life,” she said.

“I take reassurance from feeling healthy and positive, and having a very supportive loving family.

“Please do one thing for me today and every day, hug your loved ones, support our most vulnerable; reach out and make sure they are okay.”

Original Article published by Claire Sams on About Regional.

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