"Long waiting list for potentially life-threatening illness"

About: Box Hill Hospital / Clinical oncology (previously radiotherapy) Box Hill Hospital / Gynaecology

(as the patient),

Last year, my doctor referred me to see a specialist at Eastern Health in Box Hill, after placing me in a 'high risk' illness group. The doctor found I had abnormal cells and was quite concerned about them, saying they could potentially lead to cervical cancer if unchecked and not treated. They faxed through the details to the hospital straight away.  It took a while for them to get back to me, and even then, I was told by a very generic letter that I was put on a waiting list (despite being in the high-risk group?!).

Many months later, I was sent another letter asking if I still wanted to remain on the waiting list!  Were they serious?!  I have a disability for one and cannot afford private health cover as it is, so I don't have a choice.  I need them to carry out the colposcopy.  I then rang them to ask what was happening, as my doctor was also becoming quite frustrated, saying they had done the same to a number of patients and the doctor was not happy about it.

What I believe to be the hospital's lack of time management and organisational skills and lack of care for patients (where we appear to all just be numbers to them, if not, less than that), is, in my opinion, not only negligent but also an absolute disgrace, I believe considering there are women who have serious high-risk cells that need to be checked out and treated if they are cancerous.

In the last couple of months, my uterus has been burning with a dull throbbing pain in my pelvis.  My doctor said it's becoming more urgent that I get that colposcopy, as they can't recommend or do anything until they know what is happening down there for sure.  The hospital has the power to save lives and heal lives at risk - yet, in my opinion, this is what they choose to do instead.

I am absolutely disgusted and something needs to be done.  If my uterine cells turn into cancer while I am on this ridiculously long and, I feel, unnecessary waiting list, I will be taking things further, via legal channels.  The amount of stress and anxiety caused by this waiting is intolerable.  I've had enough!  Get your act together, Eastern Health - in my opinion this is not good enough and it's very negligent!


Response from David Plunkett, Chief Executive, Eastern Health 2 weeks ago
David Plunkett
Chief Executive,
Eastern Health
Submitted on 26/03/2020 at 10:06
Published on Care Opinion at 10:07

picture of David Plunkett

Dear DDP,

Thank you so very much for taking the time to share your concerns and experience. I would like to apologise that you are left feeling this way about accessing this service at Eastern Health.

In order for us to follow up your particular circumstances, I would like to invite you to contact one of our Patient Relations Advisors in the Eastern Health Centre for Patient Experience either by calling 1800 EASTERN or by emailing feedback@easternhealth.org.au. If you choose to call please be aware that it is possible that the Patient Relations Advisors may be on another call at the time you ring and if so you will be invited to leave a message so they can return your call.

Whilst I fully understand the following is of no comfort to you, we have more than doubled the colposcopy service over the past 12 months however this is clearly not enough. We have recently increased the service again and I am hopeful we will be able to provide more timely access to care and service into the future.

I hope we hear from you soon so we can see what can be done to improve this situation.

Thank you again.

Kind regards


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