"Lack of medical care"

About: Central Gippsland Health

(as the patient),

I attended Emergency Dept at Sale and was diagnosed as having appendicitis, I was taken to a room in the surgical ward then given a CAT scan and really was quite happy with my procedure and the recovery. However the surgeon did alert me to a cyst inside my abdomen that he was concerned about and wanted to do something about, but couldn't while my appendix was being removed and he told me he would discuss further at my followup appointment.

I was given an appointment with the surgeon four weeks after my operation, approximately two weeks later I was told the surgeon was out of the country on an emergency procedure and I would need to see another surgeon. I asked if it could be the Surgeon of my choice (I am a private patient) - I was told no it had to be the one I was allocated

I was contacted again to be told that I had to change my appointment.

Finally 6 weeks after my operation I get to see a surgeon. When I arrived I overhear that the surgeon has no idea at all about my case. The surgeon has not seen my pathology results and I am made to wait while they are faxed (is this 1975?).

The first thing the surgeon says in their consulting room is that I don't have cancer - I am flawed, wow was this a risk? Were they suspecting I had cancer? 

I asked if the surgeon meant the cyst that they found. The surgeon had no idea what I was talking about despite having my file open on the computer. The surgeon told me there was no cyst.

I pointed to the computer screen and said, "It says right there cyst found..." and the file said there were photos, the surgeon read it aloud and said, well there are no photos here. I told them to scroll down and sure enough photos of my insides including what appears to me to be a pretty big cyst. The surgeon tells me that they know nothing about it and I need to see the surgeon who actually did the surgery. But he is not here and I said yes I understand he is out of the country and he responds - no he is in the room next door. Wow.

I'm a private patient, being seen by a sugeon who knows nothing about my case and can't even be bothered to read my file before I enter the room and my surgeon who I am supposed to be having the follow up is in the room next door but he cannot be bothered seeing me

But it gets worse.

This surgeon takes me to reception area and tells the receptionist that I need an appointment with the surgeon who carried out the procedure (which is what I originally had..) and they tell me I have to wait 57 days for that appointment

Wow I lost it, I told them I wanted a referral to another surgeon the surgeon of my choice who I knew to be professional and competent from past dealings

After being told about how I needed a referral and how it was going to be difficult they called the surgery ward and tried to organise a referral.

Then I can only assume the realisation if I went to the private surgeon for the followup there would be no more money flowing into CGHS from my health fund and magically I am offered an appointment for the very next business day.


Response from Frank Evans, Chief Executive Officer, Central Gippsland Health

picture of Frank Evans

Dear Appointment confusion

I am very sorry that your experience has left you feeling so disappointed with us and I will thoroughly investigate what happened for you.

Please be assured that we are very happy for patients to see their surgeon of choice as private patients or public and that this doesn't financially disadvantage the health service. I am unsure why this went wrong for you but I am sorry that we gave you this impression.

I will get back to you further once we understand what went wrong and why.

In the mean time please feel free to contact me directly on 51438660 or frank.evans@cghs.com.au

Kind regards


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Response from Frank Evans, Chief Executive Officer, Central Gippsland Health We have made a change

picture of Frank Evans

Dear Appointment confusion

I understand that you have been able to catch up with your surgeon and he has been able to assist you.

We are sorry that we failed to provide sufficient handover to the surgeon who stepped in when urgent unexpected leave was taken.

We have taken steps to ensure that should another surgeon need to provide cover for a colleague they are provided with the information they need prior to consulting with the patient.

Thank you for telling us your story and for assisting us to make a change.

Kind regards


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