Patients kept waiting for a better system

READERS have raised some serious questions about waiting times for elective surgery since Raceview resident Greg Turner told his story in Tuesday's QT.

The pensioner has been waiting more than three years for a hernia operation at the Princess Alexandra Hospital and has been told he was a Category 2 patient and the hospital was only making appointments for Category 1 surgery.

Metro South Health chief executive Richard Ashby said the PAH had experienced an extremely high demand in urgent and Category 1 patients, which were given priority, however the hospital was taking appointments for Category 2 patients.

A number of our readers had experienced alarming waits for surgery.

"I'm category 1 and on a 3.5-year waitlist to fix a broken neck," Kate Devereaux said.

Cam Jay said: "(I've waited) 12 months with an open hole in my shoulder before it could be fitted in to be stitched shut."

Katy Palmer-Stabile had a wait of close to eight years.

"I was a category 2 and waited nearly eight years for my op. Had it this year."

Other readers were critical of the PA Hospital's workload.

Sarah Taylor said she was laughed at when she phoned about an operation.

"My husband is the same with the PA and waiting to see an orthopaedic surgeon. He has been on the waitlist over 12 months and the lady laughed at me when I called for an update and I was advised they haven't seen a category 2 patient in over two years and don't have any plans to," she said.

"My husband is in chronic pain and can't get out of bed some days, sad for a 30-year-old who's gone from working full-time to end up on a disability pension and left to suffer without even a single appointment at a public hospital. "He did have spinal surgery through work cover initially."

Pam Kruger McNeill said her husband had waited for seven years for an MRI.

"My husband has been on a waiting list for about seven years for a MRI at the PA. He gets letters every 12 months or so asking him if he still wants to be on the waiting list."

Brooke Wooster-Brooks said the situation was much better at Ipswich Hospital.

"My husband had a hernia operation earlier this year and only waited a few months. I'd suggest (Mr Turner) go to Ipswich Hospital as the PA is extremely busy."

Peter Whitty said the PA kept delaying his operation.

"The PA keeps sending me a note saying 'we will advise you in five working days as to when we can see you'.

"I now have half a dozen of these letters and will get another this week for sure.

"Glad it's only a spinal operation I need and nothing serious."

Angela Crowhurst agreed the PA Hospital needed to address waiting lists for all category patients.

"My husband has been on the Category 2 waiting list for 2.5 years just to see a spinal surgeon.

"Then he had a fall Sunday night and we spent 4.5 hours in A & E (last Tuesday) at the PA just to be told that he should take Ibuprofen for the pain.

"I understand that Category 1 patients need first priority but maybe they should look at other cases on a case by case."

Many readers blamed the State Government.

"Waiting two years now for my hernia op," Beverley Darby said. "Don't blame the hospital, it's government."

Topics:  elective surgery hospital waiting times

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