"My recent trip to Emergency"

About: St Vincent's Hospital

(as the patient),

Whenever I call an ambulance for advice or assistance, they tell me I have to go to hospital. All emergency services refer you to hospital. This happened to me recently during the middle of the night and I went to St Vincent's Hospital Emergency Department.

I have heart, anxiety problems and asthma. I had woken up at 4 o'clock in the morning feeling like I was suffocating. When I arrived in the ED, I was put in a chair and had to wait a long time. It didn't seem like it was busy. When I was eventually seen by a doctor, I tried to tell them that I had been admitted to other hospitals. I felt badly treated by the doctor who saw me. The doctor told me - your case is not important. We have other more important patients. We have people dying here. The doctor literally told me to get out of the chair and get out of the hospital. The doctor told me to go back to my GP. It takes four days to get in to see my GP. What am I supposed to do if I can't breathe during the night? There is no oxygen at my home. Aren't all patients important? How am I supposed to feel.

I have never been treated so badly. I was almost in tears when I left the hospital. I didn't know what I did wrong. I felt like I had committed a crime. This only made my anxiety worse. I walked out feeling sick and dizzy. I had no money to get home and no patient transport.

I feel the hospital needs to explain why the doctor spoke to me this way. I want the hospital to do better than this.

Responses

Response from Patient Opinion Australia

The following response has been published by Patient Opinion Australia on behalf of St Vincent's Hospital:

We are concerned about the issues that you have taken the time to raise. I want to assure you, every patient who comes through our hospital doors deserves to feel welcome and safe. From the claims that you have made, it seems like you were made to feel neither. Our Emergency patients might be categorised in accordance with triage priority, but no patient is regarded as being more important than another, every patient is important to us.

If you feel comfortable, I would kindly ask that you contact our Feedback Manager via SVHS.Feedback@svha.org.au so they can look into the specific details surrounding your care and investigate and address the issues you’ve raised properly.

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