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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.
+ May 2009
+ May 2008
+ May 2007