Dr Ian Bunce is a clinical haematologist in private practice at Icon Cancer Centre Chermside, a fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians and a fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia. He completed his MBBS at the University of Queensland in 1967 and subsequently did research and trained at the Princess Alexandra Hospital. Following time spent in London at St Bartholomew’s Hospital as research registrar, Dr Bunce returned to Brisbane in 1978 and took up the role of director of haematology at the Royal Brisbane Hospital (RBH). Here, Dr Bunce worked with a team of doctors and scientists that developed the D Dimer test to help diagnose thrombosis – important when there is suspicion of DVT or PE.
Dr Bunce was instrumental in changing the way care was provided to patients with acute leukaemia during the late ‘70s and early ‘80s. He lobbied alongside his nursing colleagues for patients to be moved from share wards to private rooms, encouraged the use of central venous access devices and chemotherapy infusion pumps as a way of keeping patients out of hospital, and developed and grew aphaeresis services in Queensland. At a time when people with leukaemia went to Sydney for transplants, Dr Bunce along with his nursing and medical colleagues, pressured the State Government for a transplant unit to minimise delays for this potentially life-saving treatment and to allow Queenslanders access to transplant in their own state. Dr Bunce was actively involved in the design of the first Bone Marrow Transplant Unit at the Royal Brisbane Hospital. He helped the Leukaemia Foundation of Queensland (LFQ) with fund raising activities throughout the State to fund the building of the transplant unit.
Dr Bunce until recently was medical advisor to the LFQ and Leukaemia Foundation of Australia. He also served in the Army Reserve for 25 years and held the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the Royal Australian Infantry and commanded the Queensland University Regiment. The transplant unit opened at the RBH in 1987 and in 1988, he with Dr Paul Eliadis and Dr Trevor Olsen established the Wesley Clinic for Haematology and Oncology. He is the foundation director of Haematology and Oncology Clinics of Australasia – now known as Icon Cancer Centre – which has developed into the largest and most progressive provider of haematology and oncology day services in Australia.
Dr Bunce developed an early interest in lymphoedema treatment and supervises one of the largest lymphoedema clinics in Australia. He provided consultative services to Bundaberg, Maryborough and Hervey Bay. On Australia Day, 26 January 2009, Dr Bunce was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia in recognition for service to medicine in the field of haematology and oncology through innovative clinical and administrative roles, and to the Leukaemia Foundation of Queensland and Australia. He continues to provide consultative services in clinical haematology and treatment of lymphoedema.