"Bad experience."

About: Gosford Private Hospital

(as the patient),

My left forearm was recently operated by a doctor in Gosford Private Hospital for the fractured radial bone. Upon being discharged from the hospital on the same night, I was not given any operation report, images, written instructions, or medical certificate. On the next day I wrote an email to the doctor's receptionist, asking the doctor to provide the above items. She replied to me 2 days later with the phrase - see you at appointment next week. For some reason I didn't see her response until next week. The follow up appointment was mentioned in the middle of pre-operation letter, and I didn't see it there either. They didn't send any reminders via SMS. During pre-operation discussion with the doctor, he mentioned that if the wrist joint appeared unstable after operation I would need to wear a full arm cast for a few days. So my understanding was that the cast was only required to stabilise the wrist joint.

When I came home I discovered that the cast, in my opinion, was really badly made and would hurt my elbow nerve a lot during nights. After wearing the cast for several days I was really fed up with it. I attempted to contact the doctor's room several times via email and on the phone without any luck. Eventually I decided to remove the cast as the wrist join felt pretty stable and I needed to go to work, as I still didn't receive a medical certificates for the operation or recovery period

Later that day, the doctor's receptionist called me asking if I was coming for the appointment. That was too late and she re-scheduled the appointment to the following week.

At that time I noticed that my wrist and forearm didn't look straight. I took a picture and emailed it to doctor's rooms asking for a reference to another x-ray. Again a few days later I received half a line email response - see you a the appointment.

During the appointment doctor was not happy that I removed the cast without his approval. When I complained about really bad communication and the lack of information I received from him and his receptionist since the operation he became very angry and said I should have listened to his verbal instructions carefully

We also talked to the receptionist and I felt she was really aggressive, saying very loudly that she replies to every single email (not true!) and she couldn't give us any information or instructions, as it was doctor's responsibility, not hers.

After the appointment I went to take another x-ray where it became apparent that the pieces of the bone moved, and the actual fix look very ugly. The doctor called us later that day and informed me that I would probably need another operation as the parts of the bone moved. He suggested to make an appointment with another doctor, who specialises in wrist/hand injuries

I think if this doctor paid a bit more attention and cared to respond to emails/phone calls received from his patients, my recovery would probably be more successful and another operation wouldn’t be required.

Responses

Response from Patient Opinion Australia

The following response has been published by Patient Opinion on behalf of Gosford Private Hospital.

Thank you for your feedback. Patient experience is important to us and we follow up on all patient concerns and complaints. Unfortunately on this occasion there is not enough detail for us to identify the surgeon involved. The surgeons at Gosford Private Hospital are not employees of the hospital and while we are happy to discuss concerns raised by patients with the doctors that operate here, it would be best to raise any concerns with the surgeon directly. All patients admitted to Gosford Private Hospital are also offered the opportunity to provide feedback regarding their hospital stay. Please feel free to contact us directly if you wish to discuss this further.

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