'Thirld world' health standard
RUSHED to hospital with sky-high blood pressure and acute chest pain, Yvette Gale thought she was in the right place but after lying on a gurney in Emergency for 13 hours she still hadn’t been found a bed.
The Pialba retiree was sent straight to Hervey Bay Hospital on August 6 after her doctor said her blood pressure was so high there was an “imminent” threat of heart attack or stroke.
When she arrived in the accident and emergency department, Ms Gale, who had just celebrated her 70th birthday, was wheeled down the hallway for tests.
Shortly after she suffered what she believed was a heart attack which was followed by a fit.
After being treated, a fragile Ms Gale was told she would be admitted to hospital but she says that she was then left alone with her husband for hours.
“It was 10-to-four in the afternoon when we arrived at that place and I was only wheeled down that corridor to a ward at 4.30am the next morning,” Ms Gale said.
“It was third world like.”
Queensland Health said Ms Gale was suffering from hypertension and didn’t suffer a heart attack.
They also said she was examined by a doctor eight minutes after she presented in Emergency but didn’t comment on the reasons why it took so long for her to be admitted to a ward.
When asked why she was discharged before her illness had been identified Queensland Health said her symptoms were best managed under the care of her own GP.
While she says she is not normally a “whinger”, Ms Gale was so outraged by a Queensland Health article in the Chronicle that she felt she had to say something.
The article quoted the department’s Wide Bay chief Beth Norton as saying that the median waiting time to be admitted to an inpatient bed from the emergency department was six hours and 47 minutes.
Ms Gale said not only was she forced to wait for an “agonising” period of time, but she was also discharged five days later without a clear diagnosis.
She was also concerned that her medical files sent to the hospital by her GP had been “lost”.
The next step is a stress test on September 8 and in the mean time, Ms Gale is too weak and too scared to leave her house.
“They still don’t know what caused the high blood pressure and I still have terrible chest pain. I’m too scared to go far in case I have another attack.”