Businessman Ferdie Dominelli is funding an advertising campaign encouraging people to show support for suspended cancer specialist Kiran Phadke.
Dr Phadke, who is facing the sack from St George and Sutherland Hospitals after an inquiry into his treatment of patients, is due to appear before a parliamentary inquiry into off-protocol prescribing of chemotherapy on March 31.
Two half-page ads in the Leader over the next two weeks will encourage members of the public to attend the hearing.
Mr Dominelli made his name in the motor industry but his son now runs that business, while his interest is in property.
Sutherland Shire councillor Carol Provan, a member of the community-based committee supporting Dr Phadke, said Mr Dominelli was unable to attend the public meeting on February 10.
“He said at the time, ‘If there is anything I can do to help, please let me know,’ ” Cr Provan said.
“We took him up on his offer in order to promote public awareness of the hearing and to say to people, ‘We are looking for your ongoing support’.
“We would like to show the public meeting was not a one-off, and this will continue until we get the right answer.”
Cr Provan said early indications were “a couple of hundred people” would attend the hearing.
”We have to let the Parliament know the expected numbers so they are prepared,” she said.
Mr Dominelli said he had known Dr Phadke for 40 years from when they had worked together to help set up the Cancer Care Lodge at St George Hospital.
“I have a lot of respect for Kiran, and, if it wasn’t for him, we wouldn’t have the Cancer Care Lodge and other services,” he said.
I have a lot of respect for Kiran, and, if it wasn’t for him, we wouldn’t have the Cancer Care Lodge and other services
“If we don’t help him, who else will?”
Dr Phadke initially declined to appear before the select upper house committee, with his lawyers saying the terms of reference relating to chemotherapy underdosing did not apply to him.
However, the invitation was renewed in March, and Dr Phadke was told, if he declined to appear, the committee may consider summonsing him.
Dr Phadke is due to be called at 9.30am, with district health officials to follow.