[July 8, 2007 @ 8:23 am] David Hogberg

Again, from the land Down Under, looks like a crippled woman who is caring for her invalid husband has a bit of a wait:

Jennifer Haffenden, 65, says she is barely able to care for herself because of an excruciating arthritic ankle.

She thought help was in sight, until she looked more closely at her appointment card for the orthopaedic specialist at Maroondah Hospital.

“I thought it was for this year and I nearly turned up before I realised it was June 2008,” she said.

By that time, the Croydon pensioner will have been waiting 14 months.

She is then likely to be put on another waiting list for surgery, for up to 18 months.

But the Australian Government isn’t just rationing surgery. It’s also rationing medical providers:

Ben Kennedy resigned from the Royal Brisbane Children’s Hospital last month because working for Queensland Health left him “burnt out” and unable to work safely.

Speaking for the first time since resigning, the 35-year-old said patients were waiting too long for scans, and radiographers were suffering from working long hours with constant on-call commitments.

He said he was forced to work on-call for up to eight weeks at a time, sometimes finishing at 2am and starting again at 7am.

“It’s the equivalent of being drunk at work,” said Mr Kennedy, who starts a new job tomorrow at a private radiology clinic.

But, Mr. Kennedy is probably exaggerating:

A Government spokesman denied radiographers were overworked or that there was a staff shortage.

“Radiography staffing levels are determined on the basis of patient demand and the need to deliver safe, timely services,” he said.

Hat tip: Socialized Medicine.

One comment

  1. Ladyjane Says:

    My husband works for a “Fortune 500″ company. One of his co-workers is a Canadian who, fortunately, was able to transfer to this country due to a medical problem. This mans wife was diagnosed with cancer and told she would be put on a waiting list for the required treatments. The list was so long that she would have to wait 3 YEARS (unless, of course, enough people on the list died that she could be eligible earlier).

    My husband is, himself, Canadian. His sister was hospitalized in Montreal for a major bowel reconstruction. The day after the surgery she was told that they needed her bed and she would have to leave the hospital. She wasn’t able to contact anyone on such short notice to pick her up so she was taken to the entrance in a wheelchair and told to take a taxi home.

    Maybe the advantage to the Canadian system is that they don’t have a “skid row” to dump patients on????

    Hubby came to this country (USA) because he was happy to live where “no one bothered you”. Guess that won’t last long…..

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