"Poor service"

About: Monash Medical Centre

(as a relative),

Recently my nearly 99 year old father was taken by ambulance to Monash Medical Centre complaining of abdominal pain since five days prior. He arrived at around 10am and after a half an hour wait, was finally given a normal seat behind emergency to sit due to shortage of cubicles. No problem with that. We could see that there were many patients that morning.

After blood tests were done and results obtained, finally a cubicle became vacant and he was able to lie down. The doctor treating him said that he should have a CT scan to determine the cause of the pain. I was told that I had the option of getting a referral from the GP and having it done outside the hospital. I told the doctor that was fine as I was able to take him anywhere. She then said that since he was already at the hospital, she would order that it be done there. As my father's renal function was not good, he could not have an intravenous contrast dye, but would have to drink it and wait an hour before the scan could be done. He was taken to another part of the hospital to wait. Hours passed but no scan. I asked the nurse who was very good and she inquired 5 times, still nothing.

At 5.30pm he was given another glass of the dye to drink and would have to wait 45 minutes to an hour. After an hour, I asked about progress and the nurse had to go yet again to check with radiology. Eventually, a few minutes later he had the scan. I was informed by both his doctor and the nurses that the hospital has only two scanners and one was out of action and the other was being used in resuscitation for a critical patient. Results took another couple of hours to be communicated to us. I finally took him home at around 9.45 pm. 

How can a major hospital have only one working scanner?

I understand that my father was not critically ill. However, the whole experience was an ordeal for a nearly 99 years old man. He was exhausted and is still recovering. He felt that he was being ignored due to his age and because not much could be done by way of treatment, even if the result was positive and there was a problem.

Everyone, regardless of age should be treated with respect and each and every person matters. Age should not be a reason to dismiss or ignore complaints.