On Sunday night my mother had to be taken to hospital because of an ongoing issue with her heart and blood pressure.

This story is not about my mother however, as she is ok now, this story is about the saga our hospitals in NSW have become under a Coalition state government.

There are those of you who will no doubt be thinking that things were not really all that fine and dandy whilst Labor were in power. I am not in any way suggesting that we had a Utopian Health Care system under Labor, far from it, however due to the Coalitions cutbacks the resources we have are being stretched to breaking point and beyond.

My mother lives in Sydney’s Hills Shire, so she can choose to head north or west when it comes to going to a public hospital, there are none in this shire.

On Sunday night, my sister decided to take her North when she was taking her to a hospital emergency ward. Heading West would mean a trip to Westmead hospital where one can wait in the emergency ward for over six hours and not be seen by a doctor, other than that there is the Hills Private hospital.

My sister instead chose to go to Hornsby Hospital. My sister who is a registered nurse that used to work at Hornsby Hospital explained to the Triage Nurse that my mother, who was visibly shaking had blood pressure over 220. The nurse responded by asking “Does she wish to see a doctor?”.

What sort of stupid question was that? No, she doesn’t want a doctor, she just wanted to come and sit on your floor with sick people for five hours to watch TV with no sound….

After being given the news that it would be at least 4-5 hours waiting in an overcrowded emergency ward, and looking around the waiting area for a comfortable place to sit on the floor as there were no seats, my sister decided a change of plans was in order.

After receiving that bit of news, and given my mother’s blood pressure was through the roof and she was shaking uncontrollably, my sister decided to take mum to the Sanitarium Private Hospital at Turramurra where she was put straight into a bed and shortly afterwards was seeing a doctor.

The problem with The Sanitarium Hospital, is that you are charged $300 in the emergency ward just for showing up, and it is the same at the Hills Private Hospital, and other private hospitals around the state.

The Sanitarium Hospital. The $300 option B

The Sanitarium Hospital. The $300 option B

My mother and father are self funded retiree’s, the type of elderly people who the Liberal Party would like everybody to strive to be as they don’t cost the government as much money. They also have private health insurance which although expensive is another tick in the box for a right-wing government.

However $300 is a massive hit in the hip pocket for someone of that age, a pretty decent hit for most of us actually, but especially someone who is retired. What’s even worse is that the $300 is not covered at all by Private Health Insurance.

Sydney’s north-west is a massive population growth area under the Coalitions plans. There is the plan for the North West Rail Link which seems to change plans due to a failure of some sort every month, recently the costings for contracts blew out by over $30Million. There are plans for hi-density cheap housing, possibly housing commission, and plans for business districts. What you won’t hear the Liberal state or Federal members in the region talk about are plans for public schools, parks, or publicly owned medical services.

If the health system in the area is at breaking point now I wonder what it will look like after we have another 50,000 residents in the area.

On Sunday, Fairfax reported on hospitals in the Nepean area, another part of Sydney’s west that is being punished by the O’Farrell government.

The Nepean Hospital have been calling on Health Minister Jillian Skinner to put some funding into the maternity ward urgently as it is unable to cope. The hospital have now seemingly taken matters into their own hands and thought outside the square, although the solution is a little bit third-world.

When Barry O’Farrell thought it was more important to spend money purchasing new furniture for treasury, the Nepean Hospital seemingly just extended their maternity ward into the car park. Unfortunately as they don’t have staff to spare, patients giving birth in the car park have had to fend for themselves.

Jillian Skinner at a North Shore Party. Sharing a joke about those in the West giving birth in car parks?

Jillian Skinner at a North Shore Party. Sharing a joke about those in the West giving birth in car parks?

Other expectant mums have been turned away from hospitals due to staff shortages only to give birth on their kitchen floor when they get home.

Barry O’Farrell, despite being Premier appointed himself as Minister For Western Sydney because it was apparently such an important area to him, at least that is what he told us.

 Just like Tony Abbott, Barry talks up the West while living on the North Shore. Barry’s Parliamentary Secretary for the Western Suburbs is Ray Williams, a man so far removed from reality and normality that he thought his home in North West Sydney was too far to travel to and from like the others in the west do every day. His solution was to claim accommodation costs when he was at parliament so he could use the taxpayer to pay off his inner city flat. A nice little rort indeed…

Barry cares so much for those in the West he slashed $125 Million from the planned upgrade of Blacktown public hospital almost as soon as he took office and now he has families from the West delivering their own babies in the Nepean Hospital car park.

The Health System in the west under Barry O’Farrell and the Coalition is not just sick, it is in cardiac arrest. The Minister, Jillian Skinner seems to think that cutting corners and funding will fix the issues, but for all Skinner’s spin and drivel the crisis appears to be worsening.

Hospitals in the West suffering?

Hospitals in the West sufferring? Barry tries to fight the smirk

Barry clearly has no faith in his new MP’s from Sydney’s West or he would have appointed them to something more than just a backbench, so if Barry has no faith in them why should we?

I’m a bit sick of hearing the spin about what the Coalition is going to do for those in the West. Instead I’d rather take a look at what they have actually done, and the hospitals are a fine place to start.

Barry O’Farrell touted his government as the ones who were going to fix the state, they were the long-awaited cure. Now it seems like they are the cancer, and everyday it becomes even more terminal.

The Coalition in NSW are proving to be one damn bitter pill to swallow.

I hope those in the West think about that before voting in September.

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5 thoughts on “Cancer For The Cure

  1. Private health insurance sounds like a good idea, but how many people can actually afford to use it? People on limited incomes can’t afford the “excess” so they continue to turn up at public hospitals for treatment (as is their right). Contrary to John Howard’s propaganda, private health insurance is NOT reducing demand on public hospitals, but it does take a lot of taxpayers’ money out of the health system – money that is sorely needed.

    What is the point of insurance when you can’t afford to use it?


  3. Hope they think twice here in Victoria too Wixxy.
    Been waiting for nearly 3 years for a total hip replacement. Was sent a letter dated 28th Dec 2012 stating I was now on a 90 day category 2 waiting list.
    Only 2 weeks to go and still waiting on notification date for admission.
    All LNP states are suffering from the same ‘economic cutting’. Who cares if health is one of the core ALP platforms – well I for one do. Not being able to drive, do shopping etc is literally a pain in the bum (hip).
    Hope your Mum’s heart & blood pressure are now under control.

  4. Remember when Jillian Skinner was the NSW Opposition spokesperson for health she had an answer for everything & was constantly on the TV news berating the poor condition of our health services. Now she is Health Minister, you’d be hard pressed to hear her say anything about the, now, even worse conditions in our public hospitals. Hypocrite.

    Very few private hospitals even have an emergency department so even those with private insurance still have to go to public hospitals for emergency care. The excess your mother had to pay was disgraceful. I’ll bet she has been paying for private insurance for decades too.

  5. Not only does private health insurance not take the pressure off public hospitals, I believe it actually increases the pressure. It’s fine when someone has a simple procedure in a private hospital and all goes well, but here in Tasmania if you get really sick in a private hospital, you are sent to the public system. Surely there is a disconnect here. People pay big bucks for private insurance; why aren’t the hospitals better equipped to deal with whatever happens?

    Further, I was told by my GP (after I had a self-funded day procedure go wrong in a private hospital and received massive x-ray and scan bills) that the medical imaging people whack up the price on these procedures if they’re done in a private hospital.

    Some people are obviously making big money from our current health system and the natural corollary of that is that those who must use the public system miss out.

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