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Disillusioned by public health due to poor treatment

(as the patient),


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About: Box Hill Hospital / Emergency Department Box Hill Hospital / Neurology (Ward 9.2)

I presented at Box Hill Hospital emergency recently. An excruciating headache not responding to OTC painkillers. Unfortunately trial and error has proven Endone and other typical pain relief isn’t working. 

My 6th morning the pain came back full throttle and I requested a particular anti-inflammatory that had worked the previous 2 days. I was denied by the overnight doctor and provided more Endone, more Panadol, more Ibuprofen. I insisted that these don’t work but was told to ‘just try’. As predicted based on past experience, they didn’t. Feeling completely frustrated, I asked to speak with the doctor (who hadn’t seen me before denying my request) and told them I want to transfer out. To my further frustration, I was told I couldn’t have the pain relief that worked due to having Ibuprofen, which was in the same class. I was reduced to tears to explain I knew it wasn’t going to work given I’ve been in this situation for nearly a week and if he’d bothered to discuss with me and told me it was a matter of waiting, then I’d have chosen that rather than taking medication to prove a point that they don’t work for me at this time. 

I was told I’d be acting against medical advice to transfer. Which I said I’d wait for the ‘home team’. I was then told I’d have to wait days and should discharge myself and present to emergency. Which will obviously cost me additional fees. 

I’m so upset. I’ve always been an advocate of public health despite working in private insurance. I’m really saddened by my experience here. I just want to go home to my child.

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Responses to this story

Response from David Plunkett, Chief Executive, Eastern Health

picture of David Plunkett

Dear izarxp74

Thank you so very much for taking the time to share this feedback regarding your experience on Patient Opinion.

I understand Kyrstie Crane, Nurse Unit Manager the ward has spent time with you today regarding this experience and specifically your pain relief. I would like to apologise that you felt the overnight medical staff didnt listen to you - this would have been very frustrating and I understand why you would be disillusioned with the health care system you have been a supporter of.

I also understand the medical staff have now prescribed the medication you feel works best for you and that your ongoing care needs have also been discussed with you.

I would like to apologise for your experience in this regard but hope you recognise we take all feedback, good and bad, very seriously and look to improve wherever possible.

Thank you again and I wish you the very best of health.

Kind regards,


  • {{helpful}} {{helpful == 1 ? "person thinks" : "people think"}} this response is helpful