"Short stay at Port Macquarie Base Hospital"

About: Port Macquarie Base Hospital / Emergency Department

(as the patient),

Early one Tuesday morning I was transported to Port Macquarie Emergency Department with severe back pain by ambulance. The two ambulance officers could not have been more caring and helpful more than I can say for the hospital staff. Was pumped with pain relief then transferred to another cubical after 4 hrs in same area as this is now regulations as you must be moved from emergency after 4 hrs.

I expected that I would be x-rayed to see the extent of any damage to my back. To be informed by the 1st year medical student that it was not necessary to x-ray as it was only muscular. On questioning this and saying how can you say it is only muscular they replied that from the symptoms this was their diagnosis. I was still in severe pain was asked if I could maybe sit up and be examined by the physio. I tried to sit up but was unable to do so. I was left to take in some more drugs being pumped into me via a drip for one more hour.

Then it was time to be told by a physio to try to walk to the end of the hall and back while they held me up with a walk belt. When returned to my bed at this stage around 6 hrs after being admitted, I had to ask myself for something to eat or drink as not been offered a drink. The junior doctor said I was not offered food or drink in case I might have to be operated on or similar. That's funny; I expect no patient would ever be operated on unless they were x-rayed first. But no my problem was muscular. I was literally shoved a meal and juice and water, then I tried to explain that maybe a sandwich would be lighter as my stomach was upset from the drugs given. I was given no choice, just given a salmon sandwich that I do not eat.

I was then told I could go home with my partner to contact my own doctor and organise some physio and they would have someone contact me to use the therapy pool at the hospital. I was contacted a couple of days later to be given an appointment to be accessed for hydrotherapy.

I turned up 10 minutes early for my appointment. After waiting 20 minutes I asked the receptionist if they could tell me how long it would be as I was using my lunch time and needed to return to work. After the receptionist rang around the physio department, I was told that the physio who was appointed to me could not be found in the hospital. That tells you what this hospital can be like. I expect there would be a good reason no one turned up for my appointment, but I don't care anymore as this is very unacceptable.

People need to have more respect and take time to help people. I have worked in the health industry for 10 years and am sick of seeing this type for thing too often, wake up Australia. I hope I never have to return to this hospital again. If I do maybe I will strike it lucky next time. I was treated like I was a nuisance to the staff that day. Shame on you.

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