"Disappointment about extended waiting time"
About: Box Hill Hospital Box Hill Hospital Box Hill 3128
Posted by Weary Traveller (as ),
Being from a regional area and having to support a family member (my parent) attend a Specialist Clinic Outpatient appointment at Box Hill Hospital / Eastern Health, I enquired about a Telehealth appointment. The health issue was from a fracture that happened some time ago and was very likely the final appointment as healing was complete.
I had to explain what a Telehealth appointment was, and was assured by the booking officer that the request would be followed up and confirmation (yes or no) would be forthcoming. It wasn't so and I had to follow up to be told by another (very pleasant and understanding) booking officer that it was not possible and we would have to attend in person.
The appointment then involved a near 3-hour car trip, with my parent and I arriving 15 minutes prior to the nominated time. We then endured a 2.5-hour wait to be seen, a brief consultation, referral for imaging and an even briefer final consult that confirmed the fracture was healed and no further appointments were required. The return home took close to 4 hours due to peak hour and a freeway accident that delayed traffic. All up, 7.5 hours travel, over 3 hours at the hospital, for at most 10 minutes of consultation.
I imagine that my parent is not the only person requiring to travel to metropolitan hospitals for specialist appointments, and would hope that in the 21st century, hospitals would have a clear procedure to allow remote access for distant, elderly or disabled patients where travel or extended waits present difficulty. Although I can understand why clinicians prefer face-to-face appointments, at the end of an episode of care where the need to physically interact with a patient is minimal, and an X-ray provides the required clinical information, the time and cost to the patient should be evaluated and Telehealth options should be a standard offering. Very disappointed that in this case, distant access was not an option and did not appear to be on the radar of Eastern Health.