"Unacceptable waiting times"

About: Maroondah Hospital

(as the patient),

Recently I was at the Outpatients Department of the Maroondah Hospital in Ringwood. I got there at 1pm, 15 mins before my appointment. When I walked in my ticket was No.56. There were about 10 patients waiting in the room and after that people kept coming and the room was quickly filled.

After 1 ½ hour of wait, I realized that people coming after me were been seen by doctors before me. I waited until the receptionist was free to find out what was happening with my appointment, but they were always busy with patients walking in. After 30 minutes I went to see them and told them that I had been waiting for 2 hours and would like to know when I would be called. They asked me my details then checked on the computer and after that went to see what was going on. They came back after 10 minutes and said that they could see my documents on the doctor’s desk and that it won’t be much longer to be seen by the doctor.

So I sat down waiting again and still seeing patients coming after me being called. It was 3:15pm so my parking had already expired. I couldn’t leave the hospital to move my car because it might take me a while looking for another park and at any moment I might be called. So I waited anxiously hoping not to get a fine.

At 3:40pm the waiting ticket machine was showing No.10 which meant that 54 patients had come after. There were only 6 patients left in the room. I went to see the receptionist again and told them that now it will be 3 hours of waiting and everybody after me had already been called, but not me. Once again they asked me my details then checked on the computer and went to see what’s happening with the doctor. At that same time, another patient was also complaining that patients after them were been called before them. The receptionist came back and said that they don’t know what’s happening, but they will reprint my document and make me see another doctor straight away. So I went back to my seat and waited again to be called. One patient was called, then another one, then another one again then finally at 4:05pm I was called. I left the hospital at 4:15pm and there was only one patient left, waiting to be called. I spent 3 hours and 15 minutes in the hospital and I find this unacceptable.

I’m very disappointed with that experience. I think if the doctor who was supposed to see me got something unexpected that would take them a much longer time, they should have informed the receptionist to organize the rest of their patients to see another doctor instead of being left behind for hours. I will be more disappointed and furious if during the day I got a letter saying that I was fined for parking more than 2 hours in a 2 hours parking zone.

Responses

Response from David Plunkett, Chief Executive, Eastern Health

picture of David Plunkett

Dear disappointed and angry

Thank you so much for sharing your feedback regarding your experience in the outpatients department at Maroondah Hospital.

I would like to offer my sincere apologies for what was clearly a very long time you needed to wait to be seen, even after making several enquiries.

In order to better understand what may have gone wrong, I would welcome you making contact the Patient Relations Advisors in the Eastern Health Centre for Patient Experience either via email at feedback@easternhealth.org.au or via 1800 EASTERN.

Should you choose to make contact, we will be able to obtain some further detail to add to you comments above and undertake a full investigation.

My apologies again disappointed and angry and I hope we hear from you soon.

Kind regards

David

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