"Emergency Department Doctor"

About: Sale Hospital / Emergency Department

(as a parent/guardian),

Recently I brought my baby in to the Emergency Department (ED) at Sale Hospital with a persistent and agitated dry cough, which I had thought was whooping cough. 

Three hours later and my baby was seen by a doctor who released them home 15 minutes later because nothing was wrong. No tests were done.

My baby had gotten worse over the course of the next couple of days, so I took my baby to a different hospital's ED where they were fantastic with my baby, and they treated us with priority and tested for whooping cough. It was negative thank god, but it was discovered that my baby had bad croup. Something that Sale Hospital did not pick up because they did not even check.

Over the course of the next few weeks, the croup was consistent but then started to ease, until my baby went down hill again. 

I presented back to the Sale ED (approx four weeks after first visit) but they said nothing was wrong and sent us home. The local GP the next day said the croup was back, which ceased almost fully two weeks later.

My baby then started coughing persistently again, with severe flu like symptoms, wheezing, rapid breathing, running nose, watery eyes. As I have no car at the moment, my only option was Sale ED reluctantly, so I took my baby again, only to be greeted by the one and only doctor that sent us home after the first initial visit. The doctor said that they didn’t remember my baby, so I proceeded to tell the doctor about the first visit and how the doctor sent my baby home last time almost straight away, and then the doctor denies it saying, I didn’t send him home that quick and that my baby had a viral infection. So from one minute the doctor can’t remember my baby's visit to the next saying they can. Which is it?

Then I said that my baby's so much worse and I need my baby to be checked out and to see if there’s an underlying problem that’s the cause of this. I feel the doctor was rude and arrogant and said, you tell me what you want me to do. You tell me what’s wrong with your baby! I replied, I’m not a doctor hence why I’m here to have my baby checked out. The doctor refused to check my baby over, rather argued with me that I should tell them what’s wrong with my baby and tell the doctor what to do. I asked to see a paediatric doctor and the doctor said they might not get called out because nothing's wrong. I asked for another doctor, and the doctor said they're the only doctor on for the whole ED and hospital. 

I feel that Sale Hospital ED is so understaffed and rude, and in my opinion they spend more time hanging around behind their counters laughing and talking than they do working. 3 hours it took to get my baby seen and they weren’t even busy. From now on I will choose a different hospital for everything. Even living in Sale, I’ve had my children born at a different hospital because they are fantastic in every way.


Response from Suhan Baskar, Director of Medical Services, Central Gippsland Health

picture of Suhan Baskar

Dear swingxy96,

Thank you for sharing your experience with us. I am very sorry that you and your child have had not one but two very distressing experiences in our Emergency Department.

We take all our complaints very seriously and this has not met either of our expectations.

We have put a lot of resources into improving both the care and services that we provide. On this occasion, we clearly failed in our obligation to provide good care.

I can appreciate how distressing this must have been for you when you needed reassurance and we were unable to provide it for you.

Your comments about being a member of our local community and our health service not being your preferred or trusted option for health care is very disappointing to us.

I understand that this is because we have not delivered great patient/family focused care for you. What matters to you matters to us as healthcare providers and I hope you would allow me the opportunity to meet with you and investigate your concerns further.

I can be contacted on Suhan.baskar@cghs.com.au or (03) 5143 8700.

Kind Regards,

Dr Suhan Baskar

Director Medical Services

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