sduffy

Scary Waiting Times in the Public Hospitals

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    I am really very perturbed by some of the waiting times in the Public hospitals here .

     

    My husband's dr was so concerned that he sent an urgt referral whilst hubby was in the surgery.

     

    Three weeks later and five phone calls from me i have been told that he has been put on the non-urgt list which is complete madness .The waiting time for an initial appointment i was informed could be several yrs.

     

    We dont have private medical insurance and an initial consultation will be 200 dollars.I dont mind paying, that but will we be referred to the public system for the diagnostic testing and possible surgery thereafter.Financially if we have to keep paying for private consultations like this i have very serious concerns for our future here.

     

    We,as a family have quite a few chronic health issues these appalling waiting times concern me.

     

    Sue

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    Cripes, a few years! :eek: Hoping your doctor can get on the blower and help speed things up. That is a totally unrealistic wait time.

     

    I haven't had to have much to do with the public system so far. Apart from when hubby broke his elbow a while back and that got seen initially in the ER and then a few weeks later a follow up at Flinders. Mind you, the follow up appointment ran 2.5 hours late. Most other stuff is just day to day GP appointments and so on.

     

    I really hope you can get it sorted to at least not have such a long wait time going forward.

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    It is ridiculous, i can get a private consultation next week.I understand that it is fairly improbable that the GP can change things.

     

    We are going to have to go private due to the seriousness of the issue.

     

    Just want people to know that some of the wait times here are scary.

     

     

    Sue

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    Guest vikkiann

    Have you looked at getting cover?

    With ours, we could claim after we'd paid the first premium

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    It is my experience that the appointment can be made sooner if the GP contacts the Outpatient Clinics and emphasizes the urgency. The clinics do triage their appointments and you can phone them also and explain the seriousness of the complaint. Sometimes you can ask them if there is anywhere else that has a similar clinic with less of a waiting list. I was seen within 3 months recently by agreeing to go elsewhere after the original wait time given was 18 months. My husband went to Lyall McEwin for a procedure that required two nights stay, as the waiting list was only 3 weeks there.

    Otherwise, there is always the option of fronting up to ED and asking to be seen there if the issue is causing major ongoing problems.

    I have paid several times for initial consultations or procedures privately, and you can still claim an amount back from Medicare, according to their schedule. If you have a Health care card, even the specialist will sometimes take the Medicare Cheque in full payment. My husbands heart specialist always does that. Try asking the Specialist rooms.

    Edited by cliffy

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    Private insurance doesn't cover consultations so if you choose to be seen as a private patient then you will have out of pocket expenses; there is usually some Medicare rebate attached. Dependant on what service you are looking for the amount varies. An option is to be seen initially as a private patient then drop back into the public system. A few years ago I had a health scare and had to wait 1 month to see a gastroenterologist. I called the hospital spoke to the consultants secretary, when I told her I had private health insurance I had an appointment the following day. Certainly not fair but just the system here unfortunately.

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    Yes,have realised that private consult is the only way to go.Just a slight time differance,private three weeks,public,possibly as long as 3-4 yrs.

     

    That is OK to pay the occasional private consults but we as a family sadly have several chronic health conditions so paying out private consults on a regular basis isnt economically viable,in a one income household.

     

    There seems to be so much misinformation about what is and what isnt covered by Medicare.

     

    Some while back my daughter needed to see an Endrocrinologist i was told that if we went with a private consult any scans and or blood tests thereafter would fall under the private system as well,which wasnt feasible for us economically.

     

    So confusing and a bit sad that people without money are being denied proper access to medical treatment.

     

    Sue

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    It does make you appreciate what you get from the NHS, I know it has it's faults but at least you don't need to worry about treatment being covered and if it isn't, affording it

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    Hi

    just wanted to agree with Cliffy, all referrals are triaged and the Drs can only go on what the GP has written. Lots of GPs will write urgent but not provide enough or sometimes any detail to allow the decision to be made, some of the referrals I see are rubbish! Also agree that your GP can usually phone the registrar attached to whatever speciality it is to discuss and this can then make a difference.

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    I am sure this may well happen ,but the bottom line is that the wait times are unacceptable.

     

    In addition to the latest incident my daughter waited 2 and a half yrs fora gastro appt,which had settled by the time she saw the specialist,who said it would have been helpful to have seen her at the time,how is that ever going to happen.

     

    I waited 9 months for an urgt Glaucoma appt.

     

    They keep complaining about the numbers at A&E but with these wait times what other alternative do people without the requisite funds to seek private appts do.

     

    Transforming Health,lets hope so.

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    I've said it before, but the care I got when my baby was pushing on my kidneys was amazing.

    It's very unusual, so on getting an emergency ob appointment (phoned the day before) the ob sent me for a scan (next day). Then I went back a couple of days later to the ob. She wasn't quite sure what to do. She went off and chatted to the other Drs there who also didn't know what to do. So she called up a renal Dr, while I was in the room. He was at another hospital but said he'd be there in half an hour. She had to explain to him where we were as he hadn't been there before. Even the midwives and Drs there were saying what amazing service that was.

    He told me to have scans and blood tests every four weeks, and that if I felt pain I should go to A&E straight away and tell them I need a stent putting in. I would then be referred straight away to his department in the other hospital. He told me that as I was pregnant the stent would be replaced every four weeks.

    When I went to book in for my first scan at flinders the lady said 'there is a three month waiting list for renal scans'. I told her the Dr had said I need them every four weeks and they fitted me in no problem. I went for all the rest of my scans at the repat as it's just so much easier there.

    Since baby was born I was told to go to my gp and get a referral for a ct scan. When I phoned to book the ct scan they offered me a place the next day. No asking if it was urgent etc, that was just their next available appointment.

     

    Since birth I've had to go to the physio. I did have to wait four weeks for that first appointment, but Christmas and new year fell over that wait, so I wasn't totally suprised.

     

    All in all, other than the first gp I saw when I got pregnant, every experience I've had in the public system in the last year has been wonderful.

    Edited by Blossom
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    Guest Husky

    I would rather pay my bupa hospital premiums than my car insurance. My daughter was repeatedly turned away from medicare over a period of 6 weeks. Flinders called her a drama queen, on call specialists refused to ceome and even take a look at her...she had toxic shock!!! Only by seeking a private second opinion and an operation within a few hours did it save her life. My partner was in agony with a hernia..3 month,wait on medicare just to see the specialist and 6 month wait for the op. He couldnt work or even walk! By going private he saw the surgeon with a wait of only 3 days and had the op the next day.Ibelieve medicare waiting times are stretched to their limit. As we got hosital cover within 12 months of being a resident we started on the lowest premiums. We pay 220 a month for hospital and extras cover..kids get free dental health care. To me..it is money well spent and awesome peace of mind...people spend a fortune on buying cars,houses and insuring them..why not insure your health.

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    Contact the Health and Community Services Complaints Commissioner (HCSCC) South Australia - there website seems to be down at the moment but they do advocate on behalf of the public and it sounds like people are being treated inconsistently. I had an issue a few years ago which could have been serious but thankfully wasn't and I couldn't be seen for a few months which I understood because I know the system is like that.

     

    I also went to the Repat and got great service. I think it will be a very sad day when that hospital closes. It may be and older building but the staff were just perfect both in their knowledge and skills and also the way they treated patients. A few of the other hospitals could well learn from the Repat.

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    I entirely agree Husky and i wish that we could afford BUPA,but we cannot,and that is not because we live beyond our means in any way we dont drink,smoke,holiday,or even have a flash car,but one wage with several redundancies in the last yr, as well makes it totally impossible.

     

    My point is everyone should have access to decent medical care,not everyone has the option to pay private.Not because they are being remiss, but often because of circumstance.

     

    I know quite a lot of people who have had private medical care over the years but because of job loss etc can no longer afford it.

     

    More people leaving the private system is only going to serve to put further pressure on the public system.

     

    A very worrying state of affairs.

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    Guest Husky

    You are spot on...it is very very scary....unless its life or death or an infant...ya playing a lottery when it comes to your health. The medicare system is an underfunded,outdated and not fit for purpose module...overrun by bureaucracy,red tape and a system that even the doctors themselves dont understand. I was talking to a lady the other day that needed radiotherapy. She had to travel at her own expense to sydney to receive it..flights,hotel expenses..she had to do it quite a few times over the space of a few months. Thats absolutely ridiculous..and to add insult to injury..she had to fork out over a 1000 dollars for the treatment as medicare didnt,cover the full amount.

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    Guest Guest14361

    A lady I know had to have radiotherapy for cervical cancer, she received the best possible treatment at the Lyle Mac hospital through Medicare, a damn site better than her self funded treatment in the Calvary private hospital, not with the op but her aftercare after the radical hystorectomy.

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    Guest Husky

    Which again proves Medicare is a lottery... Depends on whom you are referred to... which doctor/ specialist/ surgeon you get..... how much the Medicare gap is. Can't comment on the Calvery.... We used flinders private and ash ford who we're amazing. As I said we insure the things that are of value to us... Why don't we insure our health. The nhs/ Medicare is unsustainable... people living longer, increases in public liability, equipment etc...

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    It's scary but no worse than the UK. In fact, wait lists here are often better than the UK. I had a gastro referral and my public appt came before a private could fit me in!

     

    It's no surprise that the health system is struggling. Too many people are not responsible with their own health and rely on the system to fix the ailments that many could sort out themselves with a bit of effort. Our lifestyles generate disease while our improving health knowledge increases lifespan - thus the financial burden increases as people live longer with chronic disease. Those with such diseases retire early, work less and the healthy population pay their taxes on other peoples' health care. Add to that the Australian culture of seeing specialists for every small issue only decreases their availability to see people who really need their expertise. Transforming Health will hopefully go some way to address this - it will be a culture shock to many but is much needed.

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    Had some news from Uk yesterday, which may be interesting. My sister has waited 18 months for an operation to fix a previously injured ankle, (two broken bones) and she is almost unable to walk and has been for a while. Due for surgery Thursday am, cancelled whist she was in the Theatre waiting room as the anaesthetist was a no show! Has to spend another month, sitting in great pain, waiting for the op.

    I am not sure that the NHS is any better than Medicare.

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    Guest Guest14361

    I think medicare is awesome, never ever had a issue with it, where else can I see my doc at 9am, get a X-ray taken at 10am, be back at my docs at 11 am for the results. My doc was ex Watford, now I have a ex Derby doc they both love the system here

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    You must have been very fortunate Jo,i know several people who have waited well over a yr for Gastro referrals at Flinders.

     

    Having to go to Sydney for cancer treatment is appalling.

     

    The NHS is far from perfect ,but i nor any members of friends and family in the uk have ever ever had to wait more than a few months for a hospital consultation.

     

    My dad sadly has recently been diagnosed with Leukemia in the Uk,blood tests on Friday,cancer specialist appt following Tuesday and Bone Marrow Biopsy.Started chemo the next day.That is fantastic care.

     

    Hope the Transforming Health will do just that but the health professionals i have spoken to are sceptical.

     

    Sue

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    Guest Guest14361
    You must have been very fortunate Jo,i know several people who have waited well over a yr for Gastro referrals at Flinders.

     

    Having to go to Sydney for cancer treatment is appalling.

     

    The NHS is far from perfect ,but i nor any members of friends and family in the uk have ever ever had to wait more than a few months for a hospital consultation.

     

    My dad sadly has recently been diagnosed with Leukemia in the Uk,blood tests on Friday,cancer specialist appt following Tuesday and Bone Marrow Biopsy.Started chemo the next day.That is fantastic care.

     

    Hope the Transforming Health will do just that but the health professionals i have spoken to are sceptical.

     

    Sue

     

    A mate at work had to go to Sydney for treatment of cancer, nothing new in that or unusual, one has to know why, perhaps it's something to do with the type of cancer, another friend of ours recently got diagnosed with lymphoma Cancer he too got sorted within a week, that too is fantastic care. Sadly I know a couple of people here suffering with ailments, they are treated un believably well by Medicare. I too along with other people have ever had to wait months to see a specialist at the hospital, it depends on the severity of each case.

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    Guest Husky

    I was told by a nurse that sa medicare only operate 2 radiotherapy machines. How true this is..i dont know. Yes steve you are right about the getting x rays etc..that is great...but again look of the draw...will it be free..will it cost me a couple of hundred,dollars...who knows. My view of medicare is obviously biased...when you nearly lose a child from complete incompetence and lack of interest..it kind of blurs your vision. However I never win on the lotto..so will continue with my bupa subs.

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