"Left in pain when things could have been sorted out sooner."
Posted by On the move (as ),
Recently I have been experiencing chest pains and shortness of breath. So I went up to the Kununurra Hospital, and they put me on the ECG, did some tests and confirmed I’m not having a heart attack. They give me something for the pain and send me home. This happened 4 times. Eventually when I headed back up and the same tests were done again, with the same results, the check-in nurse asked if I had been regular. I said, no, I’d been having a lot of trouble going to the toilet. So they gave me a CAT scan and I was diagnosed with Full Stomach. They wanted to send me to Broome or Perth, however Broome didn’t have enough staff to care for me and Perth didn’t have enough beds, so I have to stay in Kununurra on a drip. The Royal Flying Doctors came in to transfer me to Perth, but had to take someone in a more serious state. So after a day or so I was flown to Perth.
When I was admitted to Perth Hospital they put me on a drip as well, while they waited until they could do a Laparoscopy. The Laparoscopy couldn’t be done in Kununurra because they don’t have access to a backup service if things go wrong. The Laparoscopy didn’t show that there was anything wrong, it went down my throat into the stomach and other than a bit of scarring there was nothing out of the ordinary that could point to my problem. They then gave me an injection to get things working – which worked, and sent me back to Kununurra. However, because there were no flights available I was put into a hotel. They didn’t give me any medication for the pain or to stop me blocking up again. So I had to work out how to get myself moving. The problem was that Perth couldn’t do the laparoscopy for the bottom half, so they said Kununurra could do it. When I got back to Kununurra they said that they can’t do that procedure and have booked me into Broome. Only the earliest booking is three weeks away and I’m left in pain and trying hard to keep things moving.
What I want to know is why the whole thing couldn’t be sorted out whilst I was in Perth? All that was needed was a phone call to Kununurra Hospital, telling them what was needed for me and checking if it was possible. With just one phone call they could have found out that Kununurra couldn’t do it and Perth could have kept me in for a couple of extra days to find out what is going on and maybe fix it. But that didn’t happen and I was shunted home, left feeling that country people are treated like second class citizens. They’ll take people in from Perth, but the rest of us are sent back to the country to wait for treatment, that might take weeks to get. I was in the hospital, why didn’t they finish the job.
I would like this sort of thing to be sorted out, so people in the country aren’t treated like second class citizens.
Having said all of that, I do however want to say that I could not fault the care I received from all the nursing staff that treated me, both in Perth and Kununurra. The nurses are obviously overworked, with a lot going on, but they were absolutely brilliant. No matter how busy, the ones dealing with me were courteous and caring. Couldn’t fault them. Just brilliant and I want to thank them for the care they gave me.