"Lack of care from administration staff"

About: Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital / Emergency Department

(as a relative),

Recently, me and my sibling went to the hospital because my sibling was having a fever and fell over and hit their head and needed stitches. After a Triage with the nurse that didn’t ask us if my sibling had health insurance/ Medicare card we went to see a member of the administration staff.

The staff member was very slow and not clear with their questions and information, they told us that we should pay for all the services we were being provided at the hospital as my sibling didn’t have any insurance/Medicare, which is fine for us and we understand how things work.

The problem was that we asked the staff member several pieces of information about the process and they wouldn’t answer or be helpful with us, I feel that this staff member was treating us as animals and saying: you can’t be in Australia without insurance, that’s how the system works here.

When asked to clarify how much or an estimated cost of the triage or service provided at the hospital the staff member just gave us a piece of paper with a list of values that were not clear for us, where we were or how much it would cost. We kept on asking please can you be clear with us and the staff member wouldn’t respond back.

At the end, a very respectful nurse came to see us and clarified the situation also giving us phone numbers to call as an option to get some help. 

It is unbelievable how a person like that staff member, without any sense of human love or care, can work at a hospital or even do any customer service or person related job. It’s not about money, it’s about caring about people and trying to clarify and giving the others chance of being in a position of choice or understanding of the situation they’re in. It’s not easy for anyone to be in a hospital so please make sure you provide the staff proper training/ understanding on how to deal with situations like that on a daily basis.


Response from Janet Zagari, A/Executive Director, Sir Charles Gairdner Osborne Park Health Care Group 7 months ago
Janet Zagari
A/Executive Director,
Sir Charles Gairdner Osborne Park Health Care Group
Submitted on 14/08/2019 at 18:47
Published on Care Opinion on 15/08/2019 at 08:54

picture of Janet Zagari

Dear plutorh39,

I am so sorry to hear of your experience with the administration staff in the Emergency Department and apologise most sincerely for your experience. Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital (SCGH) is committed to improving customer service and all staff are regularly reminded of the importance of empathetic and professional communication. Thank you for sharing your story with regarding the way you felt because it is important to us to ensure that our patients receive the information they require to make an informed decision regarding the cost associated with having treatment if they do not have a Medicare card when presenting for care in our organisation.

I was especially concerned that when you requested clarification regarding the information provided that the staff member did not respond to your queries nor refer you quickly to someone who could be of assistance and apologise that on this occasion that you and your sibling were not treated with the care and compassion that we pride ourselves on. I was reassured to hear that one of the nursing team was able to provide the information needed to assist you in understanding your options. Thank you for letting us know what went well during this visit as well as your concerns.

I have forwarded your feedback to the Nursing Co-director so that it can be shared with staff to raise awareness on the importance of respectful communication when interacting with patients and families accessing services at SCGH. I hope that your sibling is recovering from their illness and injury.

Kind regards

Janet Zagari

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