I entirely agree with the sentiments expressed by Diana Campbell in last week’s Sentinel-Times. We are indeed lucky to have top specialists who visit our hospital and are supported by our local doctors to provide an excellent service to our local community.
We have a good range of specialists for a rural community and it has taken many years to get to this point.
It therefore saddens me to discover that we are in clear danger of throwing all this away and losing many of our services because of recent actions taken by the new hospital board and management.
It was a conversation with a neighbour that had my awareness raised that something is amiss.
She was upset because she had been informed by a specialist that the operation for which her child has been waiting to have done for some months could not go ahead.
She was told her options were either to ‘go private’ or be put on an even longer waiting list at a metro hospital. The specialist was very apologetic.
Why had this occurred causing her such inconvenience?
It seems the hospital management has taken a decision to stop all surgical procedures on children 12 years and younger.
A long conversation with a person in charge of the medical services did not provide an adequate or plausible explanation.
Worse was yet to come. I later heard from another reliable source that one visiting specialist has already stopped coming to Wonthaggi and others are contemplating the same action because the hospital is insisting they remain overnight to provide post-operative care.
From my experience post-operative care is provided by one of the local doctors who attend the surgical procedure.
So it all seems rather strange. Attempts to find out more about this from my own doctor only confirmed what had occurred and they didn’t seem to understand the decision either.
It sounds as though the services available at the local hospital are being drastically reduced with consequences for all of us in terms of access to services, inconvenience, waiting times and cost.
I thought from all the hype in recent years that we were going to get more health services not less, I guess I was wrong.
Alison Claringbold, Inverloch.
Editor: Bass Coast Health CEO Jan Child told the Sentinel-Times this week that it had been a conscious decision by the health service to discontinue surgical procedures for patients under 12 because of advice that it would be operating beyond its capability if it did not have a consulting anaesthetist on hand when undertaking such procedures. BCH does not have access to a consulting anaesthetist. Ms Child said the health service had conducted a clinical governance review ahead of the release of the Duckett report last Friday, making several changes to bring it into line with recommendations made and accepted in principle by the Andrews Government. Where other hospitals in the state have been named for operating beyond capabilities following release of the report, BCH has not. Ms Child said the goal is to expand capability and service delivery within the government’s new ‘quality and safety’ framework.