"Poor treatment"

About: Royal Adelaide Hospital

(as the patient),

I was a patient at RAH. I was taken straight into the Emergency Department as a cat 2 patient with chest pains. As a patient with history of heart issues - Mitral Valve Replacement - I have had some 13 years dealing with chronic pain. Not only with pain associated with my heart operation but also with sciatica and plenty of back issues. I've been on Centrelink DSP (disability support pension) for 12 years for chronic pain. The leave of care started at (scale 1-10) 9, which soon started to slide very rapidly to almost a zero once I mentioned the fact that I was an ex drug addict. Here in lies the trouble, in all my dealings with hospitals and doctor's since my heart operation some years ago, it has always remained the same. The stigma attached to the words drug addict or ex drug addict is still to this day a serious problem with the health care system. Once known as said ex drug addict, I was supposedly book into the cardiac wards up to 3 times and then rejected a bed. I was then told I would be given a bed in a general ward, only to have a bed there 2 times and then losing it again and again. Finally after some 18 hours I was told that we will call you tomorrow for an urgent check up as an outpatient for maybe a blockage in one of my veins / arteries. I truly believe that if not for past history I would have been given a bed the first time. After all it was going to be the very next day this test. I never once asked for any type of schedule 8 drugs or for that matter the only thing asked for and given was an antihistamine for severe itching, but once only then not allowed any more. I was not given much food. Also refused lunch before leaving - it was lunch time. I left the hospital bleeding as I walked out not being given time to make sure that where they had removed the things they put into your veins so as to take blood from & also administer IV drip. Being on blood thinners I should have been given more time to make sure I didn't end up bleeding because of the walking too soon. By the time I got to the bus stop across the street both arms were bleeding (and more than a little) so I had to remain there for some 20 minutes to be sure it wouldn't start bleeding again.

I feel that because of my past drug problems, I was treated very poorly. Now they will ring me with an appointment time, now I don't want to go back to the RAH. I am absolutely disgusted with the behaviour of the these so called professional people. The way I feel at the moment is I would rather die than to go through that ever again. There were also other issues of being unwell but I feel they are not the real issue here. The big problem in my opinion, is that these so called professional people still think they have some right to treat either ex addicts or addicts like second class citizens. 

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