"Services to the bush"
About: Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital Nedlands 6009
Posted by Tolkien (as ),
This isn't about one particular incident but rather a series. However my most recent incident does help make the wider point. I had 5 hours of chemo and had to visit the pharmacy to pick up meds on my way out. I also had limited time to catch a flight to get back to work. At the pharmacy I was told there was an hour long wait for a pack of injectables that didn't need to be made up, just lifted from a shelf and processed. I replied I couldn't wait and explained that I had to catch the last flight out that day. Then I was told half an hour. I again said no and that I had to leave. I got a cab to the airport and was in the middle of checking in when I got a call (the second) from a private number - the pharmacy were concerned and had alerted the doctor that I was flying back without the meds. They wanted to make some arrangement to rectify the mistake. I let the flight go and taxied back to the hospital, public sector cuts in mind. I didn't in all conscience need to make a difficult job even more difficult. I had also remembered that I had in my haste forgotten to pick up a CD of scans which I was shortly to need. And I was aware that hopefully PATS would pay for the missed flight plus the one that I had to then book because the lowest cost flight did not allow transfer. All of this translates into a much wider perception garnered over 2 years of how little metropolitan people understand how things work in remote Australia, even less very remote Australia. They just don't get the distances. For example, my initial referral was to Kununurra and I would have to fly to Perth to get there in the first place. They don't get the state of the roads or whether there are any or the driving distances involved in getting to the nearest airport. They don't get weather conditions. They don't get the financial costs of flying down to Perth, being told your neutrophils are too low for treatment today, come back next week. They don't get that some people have to work - just because you are over a certain age and have cancer doesn't automatically translate into not working and having all the time in the world to fit in appointments. Metro staff need an induction to remote communities and what it's like to live in the bush, otherwise nothing is going to change. How do I feel, frustrated, financially challenged.