Richard Cudaj could have been forgiven for having other things on his mind on Tuesday.
But thoughts of Wednesday's operation to remove his brain tumour were swept aside in his mission to secure an MRI service for Goulburn.
Mr Cudaj met at short notice with Goulburn MP Wendy Tuckerman to lobby for the equipment's inclusion in the Base Hospital's redevelopment.
He came away pleased with the outcome. Ms Tuckerman will circulate a petition to bolster the case for funding in the June 22 state budget.
"It appears Wendy is on board and wants the same thing as the people of Goulburn - an MRI machine in our new hospital," Mr Cudaj said.
"...I was pleased with her attitude and commitment."
The petition, incorporating a QR code for signing, will be placed in her office, "strategic" locations around Goulburn and district and online through her Facebook page. Anyone wishing to assist in the petition's distribution can collect copies from her office, once they are finalised.
The MP will also take a full-page ad in The Goulburn Post's print edition seeking public support. It will include a QR code for people to sign the petition.
In addition, her office will distribute fliers to promote awareness of the campaign.
Mr Cudaj took up the fight after being diagnosed with a brain tumour three weeks ago. He was forced to travel to Nowra, Bowral and Canberra for five MRIs, which gave detailed images of the tumour's extent.
He was scheduled to have 95 per cent of it removed in Canberra Hospital on Wednesday.
Ms Tuckerman said she'd been making representations for the service since discovering the $150 million hospital upgrade had space for an MRI machine, but no funding or licence for it. The federal government allocates the licence, which gives access to a full or partial Medicare rebate.
"I have made representations to the (State's) health minister, treasurer and the Premier and whoever else I could find to listen to me," she said.
"I need to wait until budget day to see if it will be included. I don't get told beforehand.
"(But) I want to get the community behind it to have a stronger voice and put it in front of the minister to say how important it is to our region."
She told The Post that Hume MP Angus Taylor was extremely supportive of the licence bid. He previously said the MRI machine needed to be in place first.
The technology gives detailed images of the body and helps diagnosis and treatment.
Ms Tuckerman said she was horrified to learn in 2019, before her election, that the growing Goulburn Mulwaree region didn't have the Medicare subsidised service.
"We are the only Health District in NSW not to have a (publicly funded) MRI service," she said.
"It is so important. We have this new hospital build and a fantastic spend up there. If the government is building that infrastructure, we need to make sure the services are available not just to the Goulburn community, but the region."
The Southern NSW Local Health District announced last week that it was preparing a business case with NSW Health to support an MRI at the new facility.
It will examine demand, the cost of establishing it, and explore funding models.
Ms Tuckerman said every little bit helped.
"A petition is (also) important because it indicates the level of support. Let's get out there, sign it and show what it means to this community and that will assist me in my arguments," she said.
Hume MP Angus Taylor said he would continue to push for an MRI licence for Goulburn, as he had over the past few years.
"There is a need, and I'm not going to stop trying," he said.
"I will be meeting with (Health) Minister Greg Hunt to make the case for an MRI licence for Goulburn in the coming weeks."
While the licence gives access to the Medicare rebate, and increases an MRI's profitability, state governments do not need to apply for one to operate the service. However if there is private involvement, such as Canberra Imaging Group's joint bid with the SNSWLHD in 2019/20, a licence is required.
Meantime, Mr Cudaj told The Post if the funding wasn't forthcoming after his operation he would step up his campaign.
He said the support of family and friends had buoyed him through a tough period.
"I'm resigned to the fact I need to get this (operation) done and I hope everything turns out for the best," Mr Cudaj said.
We care about what you think. Have your say in the form below and if you love local news don't forget to subscribe.