Kenneth tries 10 times for surgery
ON more than 10 occasions Kenneth Limpus claims he came close to being pain free, but at the last minute Queensland Health cancelled his scheduled operations.
The last time was two weeks ago in Brisbane, when he said Queensland Health pulled the pin on his surgery as he was being prepped in the waiting room.
Now back in Central Queensland, he is still in pain and counting up the financial cost of the trip.
To rub salt into the wounds further, his mum caught swine flu while they were down there.
Mr Limpus, 29, and his mum, have been in quarantine inside their Stanwell home since their return.
Queensland Health yesterday said Mr Limpus was scheduled for surgery later this month in Brisbane.
It admitted to “some disruptions” to his treatment, but said each time was unavoidable.
Mr Limpus says he was diagnosed with reflux seven years ago and has been waiting for an operation ever since.
“It's getting beyond a joke because I'm in pain. It's burning me and I can't stand the pain anymore,” he said yesterday.
“The public health system needs to do something for patients waiting longer than a year for operations.
“I'm not just worried for myself but what about a lot of other patients in country towns who need more urgent operations.”
Mr Limpus said he didn't blame the doctors, nurses or hospital staff as they were doing a great job, but thought the entire system needed a revamp.
Just in the last two years, he says, he had operations cancelled at least seven times.
He said he was lucky his transport to Brisbane was paid for but accommodation was at his own expense.
“It's an inadequacy by Queensland Health in mistreating of patients,” he said.
“I don't care that they have to cancel for more urgent patients but I want answers why I'm still waiting this long.”
He has also lodged an official complaint with the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital, but has not heard back.
Queensland Health yesterday said more urgent clinical priorities result in some less urgent surgery being postponed.
It said facilities contacted patients as soon as possible if there was a change, but sometimes there could be little warning in the case of another emergency.
Rockhampton Hospital acting executive director Chris Mummery said Rockhampton Hospital did not offer a gastroenterology service, which would require at least three specialists to be safe and sustainable.
He said it would also require an appropriate patient load for these specialists to maintain their skills.
“We apologise to Mr Limpus for the inconvenience and distress caused by the cancellation of his elective surgery in Brisbane,” Mr Mummery said.
“He received treatment in Rockhampton in January and February this year.”