Improving access to healthcare

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Help improve Australian healthcare! By sharing your health experiences and ideas, you can help consumer advocates and consumer organisations work for change that improves things for you, patients, carers, families and communities. 

  • Patient Opinion's picture

    Confusion over paperwork and online booking

    I delivered my first child at Melbourne Royal's Hospital. So when I moved from West to East, I get pregnant again and went to Box Hill Mall Clinic to find a GP. GP told me to go to website to register the Hospital myself which is very much different from what I have done for my first child. He referred me to Box Hill Hospital but they assigned me to Angliss Hospital with the reason "nearer to my house". I also did a 12 weeks ultrasound scan and blood test referred by this GP. Then when I booked pregnancy care in the website, they told me to choose a shared GP from a list that...Read more
  • Patient Opinion's picture

    Exhausting experience having to go to four hospitals for tests

    I went to my doctor with a chest infection in Belgrave. He told me to go to the Angliss Hospital for an x-ray, and bring it back to him, which I did. The next day he told me to go to the Angliss Hospital for a scan. I had to stop them giving me dye as I am allergic to it, (it is on my record) then take it back to my doctor, who didn't like the results. He told me I would have to have a pet scan, and this can only be referred, by a specialist. My GP contacted my specialist, and I saw him the next day at Knox Private. He made an appointment for me at Austin Hospital. The day after I saw my...Read more
  • Patient Opinion's picture

    I have experienced the utmost, highest helping hand from the Care Coordination team.

    Over the last four months, I have experienced the utmost, highest helping hand. This worker, goes out of their way to help obtain medication, information, paperwork etc, organises transport to doctors, specialist's appointments, provides knowledge and puts you in the right direction. They will go out of the way to assist with being with you when needed. Make phone calls on your behalf and talks on your behalf when required. This worker makes my day. They are very supportive and courageous in their team in order to provide the best possible response. I ask for help / suggestions and...Read more
  • CHF Team's picture

    Coordinated care: Do you have a story to share?

    Consumers Health Forum will next week publish its journal Health Voices which focuses on the Primary Health Networks. The PHN s are to start on July 1 around Australia and are meant to counter fragmented care and encourage more integrated care for patients, particularly those with chronic illnesses. As part of the launch of this edition we would like to give one or two examples of today’s realities. For some, it might mean that you have not received the well-organised care that you should have because there has been no overall coordination of the care that you should receive from different...Read more
  • Patient Opinion's picture

    Cancelled operation at Armadale Hospital.

    Operation cancelled as I was wheeled into theatre due to an emergency. Had been waiting for four years. After confirming that I would be put back on the wait-list again, waited another three plus years, and after contacting the hospital was told that I had had the operation and was removed from the wait list. After contacting the surgeon the receptionist said they were informed that I cancelled the operation as I did not require it? I was told to see my doctor, get referred to a surgeon, and go on the wait list again. So from day one until my operation, it could be 10 years.Read more
  • From Latest News's picture

    Consultation: Quality and Safeguarding System for the NDIS

    The Commonwealth Department of Social Services and State and Territory Governments are holding public consultations for a national framework on quality and safeguarding for the National Disability Insurance Scheme ( NDIS ). The consultation paper was released by the Disability Reform Council is available on Consultation dates are: · Adelaide - Wednesday 25 March · Whyalla - Thursday, 26 March 2015 · Launceston - Monday, 30 March 2015 · Hobart - Tuesday, 31 March 2015 · Brisbane - Wednesday, 1 April 2015 · Townsville - Thursday, 2 April 2015 · Darwin - Wednesday, 1 April 2015...Read more
  • Patient Opinion's picture

    Ipswich Hospital - Do I have to start again?

    I've had a 2 year wait just to see a doctor at Ipswich Hospital; I've been in pain 24/7 for over 5 years. I had an appointment Melbourne Cup Day to see a specialist and arrived 15 minutes early for an appointment in the early afternoon. An hour and three quarters after my appointment time, I got to see a doctor NOT the specialist I was to see. A dozen staff stood in the waiting room watching TV while people waited to see doctors. The doctor was very fast and really did not seem to read my medical file. At the follow up appointment I felt I spent no more than 2 mins with another...Read more
  • Patient Opinion's picture

    The wait was too long at Ipswich Hospital

    I have been referred to the Ipswich hospital by my GP for endometriosis earlier this year. I was given an appointment in September first with a nurse practioner who it seemed couldn't do anything for me. I was then asked if I still needed an appointment at the hospital. I did so I got an appointment at the gynaecology clinic at the Ipswich hospital. My appointment was at 3: 15, I was seen at 4: 40, 1h25m wait with no explanation. I was then told by the consultant that they had people off sick and rather than cancel the clinic were just making people wait. Well, maybe you should tell...Read more
  • Patient Opinion's picture

    Ridiculous wait times at Ipswich hospital antenatal clinic...

    I have had four appointments at the Ipswich hospital antenatal clinic and not once have I been seen anywhere near my appointment time. On one occasion I had to reschedule my appointment after waiting for over an hour and needing to be somewhere else. I had an 8: 45am appointment (as I did for my last appointment) and I wasn't seen for almost an hour. Indeed nobody in the waiting room was called until well after 9am. I heard from the receptionist that staff were running behind. How on earth can there already be a backlog at 9am in the morning! ! ! ! What made it worse was that by the time...Read more
  • Patient Opinion's picture

    Awaiting appointment at the Princess Alexandra Hospital Orthopaedics Dept.

    A few years ago I fell and fractured my right femur. 3 pins inserted. Painful 24/7 and was told surgery could result in a complete hip replacement. Finally got a date for surgery but was in and out of hospital with chronic chest infections and was not well enough to face such a possibility. 2 years later when my health improved I requested an appointment with the orthopaedics doctors. 2 years later I am still waiting. I have a supporting letter from my renal specialist (2013) and in reply to the second letter from the dept. that asks if you still want the appt (early 2014), I elaborated on...Read more
  • Patient Opinion's picture

    I believe a delay in care has left me legally blind.

    I went to my Dr for a problem with my sight, a shadow in my peripheral vision and a heavy uncomfortable feeling. It seemed that he just dismissed it with "your having a bad day". I then went to two ophthalmologist that where nearby but the receptionist in both would not let me see them unless I had a referral. Then went to my optometrist but he examined me and did a retinal photo which I discovered later only shows a small area centrally no dilation of my pupil and said I believe, that it was cataract and after what seemed to be much debating about his diagnosis he agreed to give me...Read more
  • Patient Opinion's picture

    Lack of Rheumatologists in Brisbane

    I made an appointment to see a Rheumatologist at the beginning of March 2014 due to having all the tell-tale symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis and blood results show a positive RF and high ESR. I believe the symptoms are growing and so is my frustration and concern that I have to wait almost 3 months before seeing a specialist so that I can find out either way (even though I am paying the full rate). I have read that having an early diagnosis and beginning treatment can make all the difference.Read more
  • From Latest News's picture

    Just a little more time: Rare & Less Common Cancers

    Every year 42 000 Australians are diagnosed with a rare or less common cancer, and according to a report released today, patients diagnosed with rare cancers are less likely to survive than those with a common cancer such as breast or bowel cancer. The Rare Cancers Australia report on the current status of rare cancers in Australia, entitled “ Just a little more time ”, has collected data from a number of sources to provide a snapshot of current incidence, mortality and survival. The report also examines current funding levels in areas such as research and treatment. Rare Cancers Australia co...Read more
  • Patient Opinion's picture

    Pilots with Angel Flights are wonderful people

    My experience the pilots from Angel Flight are kind and considerate people. The Earth Angels are both kind and caring during my trip to and from the Essendon airport. I am pleased that it was suggested to me to use Angel Flight. Jean was very helpful. It took me four long months to use the service as a means of going home. It made the journey easier and less tiring. After being in Melbourne for surgery the fluid build up took two long months to heal so after my second chemo it was nice to have a week home to catch up with family and friends. In January after chemo finishes I will use it again...Read more
  • shefs's picture

    Maternity services - time to deliver

    Five years after the federal government's most recent Maternity Services Review, many pregnant and birthing women (particularly those in rural and remote areas) are still unable to get quality maternity care in (or close to) their communities. What will the post-election government do to deliver on reforms that promised safe and equitable maternity care to all Australian women?...Read more
  • ourhealth moderator's picture

    'Universal healthcare' means some Australians have more access than others

    Stark evidence about the need to address health inequalities is revealed in the latest report from the National Health Performance Authority, according to Carol Bennett, CEO of the Consumers Health Forum. In this article published on Croakey, she suggests that the report’s findings add weight to arguments for a greater focus on strengthening primary healthcare. Read more at… What is your experience? What are your thoughts?...Read more
  • SUzylee's picture


    My sister is 65 and was born with mild spina bifida, but until 6 years ago managed quite well. Since having bowel cancer she has become very disabled and struggles to walk now. She lives in a small flat we put on our house for her ( her home was destroyed by cyclone Yasi) and I care for her, but I am 7 years older and have breast cancer. Despite her ACAT assessment being as "HIGH DEPENDENCY" she only gets ONE HOUR PER FORTNIGHT!!!! All that does is change her bed for her and wipe over the floor. I am struggling to care for her. The government says that they want to keep people in...Read more
  • Patient Opinion's picture

    No onsite accommodation

    In 2011 I was visiting Sydney with my son, 17 at the time, and we unexpectedly found ourselves in Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. The admission ended up being for 3 weeks. The town I live in is 550kms away from Sydney and the most stressful part of the whole stay was the fact that there is no relative accommodation provided by the hospital on site. On the ward he was first admitted to I was visited by the social worker and effectively told I could not stay with my son and this was also repeated by the Nurse Unit Manager (NUM), in what I thought was a none too pleasant manner I might add and in...Read more
  • Patient Opinion's picture

    My culture and chronic disease.

    In the past 8 Years I have lost both parents and a brother. Come from small community in the Riverina. Both parents have worked since the age of 12 years, they were successful in supporting son to become a Doctor of Medicine however he passed away 8 years ago unknown causes. This was ironic due to my mother having distrust and fear of the medical world. This was due to her own parents passing at the age of 50 years due to progressive lung disease. Both my parents and grandparents were not able to access the medical needs due to limit finace. I believe my parents would have had better quality...Read more
  • rosiejones's picture

    Too hard to see a female GP

    It's far too difficult to make a timely appointment with a female GP. My teenage daughter feels far more comfortable seeing a female, but is often forced to wait anything up to 2 weeks just to receive an appointment that fits her school commitments. I am concerned that this issue may lead to young women not seeking medical advice and treatment when they need it. Note from the moderator: Great issues around women's health and access to healthcare have been raised here. Similar issues have been raised by another user in a post titled "Queensland study on nurses in general...Read more
  • From Latest News's picture

    After hours GP helpline

    The popular after hours GP helpline (1800 022 222) is now a national service. The after hours GP helpline began operation in some states mid-2011. It now takes more than 130,000 calls per year and provides thousands of callers with medical advice on whether they could manage their condition at home, wait until the morning to see a doctor or seek urgent face-to-face medical treatment. The Helpline data shows that two out of three callers receive the advice that they need over the phone without having to wait for a face-to-face consultation. The helpline is free to callers from landlines within...Read more
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