"Lack of sensitivity by a doctor"

About: Geraldton Hospital / Emergency Department

(as the patient),

Went to Geraldton Regional Hospital in the middle of the night because I had blood in my urine. I was put in a cubicle with a curtain in between me and patients. I took in the sample of urine. They took some blood tests and I was ducking into the toilet in extreme agony very 5 minutes. The examining doctor said he needed to do an internal investigation of my vagina and he would find a private room to do so. He asked me very personal questions about my pelvic history, births, operations, etc. in a loud voice. I explained I had a bowel prolapse and had been under a Women's Health physio in Geraldton. I showed him a device I was encouraged to use in my vagina to support my back wall. Hours later, he comes in to my cubicle with a female nurse and does the internal. My husband stayed as a witness to what was said. He injured me with the dilator where I was having to pant with the pain. He talked about, here is your uterus at the front, this is your vagina and the back is your bowel. Then he made me cough and cough and said I had, both a bowel and bladder prolapse. I said my Women's Health physio said I had a bowel prolapse. He replied, she is only a physio, not medical and has no right to diagnose. I said she has a Master's Degree. He said, I couldn't care less, she has no right to diagnose, she is not medical. He then said I shouldn't be inserting anything into my vagina as I could perforate my vagina. I said, I am doing what I was told! He says, she is not medical! Now he then comes back a minimum of seven times saying out loud, you need a urogynecologist - saying this outside my curtained cubicle. I got it the first time! I am university educated and I am not deaf. Neither is every other patient in that emergency ward! They heard every word. I felt this doctor was contemptuous, lacking in sensitivity, rude and talked down to me. Just because I am elderly with white hair does not mean I have dementia! My husband is a witness to everything.  

Responses

Response from Michele Young, Coordinator Executive Services, Executive Services, WACHS - Midwest

picture of Michele Young

Dear Can’t find records

Thank you for taking the time to share your experience on Patient Opinion. I was very concerned to read about your experience with our service as this does not meet our commitment to providing high quality professional care and the concerns you have outlined are not reflective of our values, particularly that of compassion and the service standards that we strive for. Your story has also provided an opportunity for us to reflect on the importance of empathy, kindness and basic manners. It is so important for us to see our health service users as a person first before an illness, bed number or the reason they are using our service.

Please be reassured that we take your feedback seriously and are committed to improving the experience of all health service users. We would like to follow this up directly with the staff involved in your care so that we can understand what occurred and importantly, ensure that we prevent a recurrence. To allow us an opportunity to do this we require some further details and we would be grateful if you could contact us directly to discuss the issues you have raised. Dr Katy Templeman, Senior Medical Officer, Geraldton Hospital can be contacted on 9956 2410 or Katherine.Templeman@health.wa.gov.au or my details are 9956 8695 or michele.young@health.wa.gov.au, your call would be very welcome and can still be addressed anonymously if you wish.

Thank you again for getting in touch, we really appreciate your feedback, without it we would not be aware of issues like this happening and would not have the opportunity to improve our service. I look forward to hearing from you very soon.

Kind regards

Michele

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