Ten months on and still Audrey waits for a knee



AUDREY Hunter has been waiting ten months to be placed on the waiting list for a knee reconstruction.

On October 1 last year, AMA representative Dr Bird referred Mrs Hunter to a sur-geon at Rockhampton Hospital for a knee reconstruction.

But ten months later and despite Dr Bird questioning the hospital, Audrey is still waiting to see the surgeon and now her other knee also needs a reconstruction.

If she saw the surgeon tomorrow, Dr Bird said they would classify her as Category 3 and she could still be looking at another 12 month wait before her knee reconstruction.

The mother of seven from Calliope Station was in tears talking about her injury and the wait.

She said she wasn't game to go outside without her walking stick for fear of falling over, and she was restricted in what she could do.

'I can't sit down too long or it stiffens up,'' Mrs Hunter said. "The sooner I get it done the better.'

Rockhampton hospital has sent her at least three letters asking her if she still wants to be on the waiting list and suggesting she consider other options.

Dr Bird said the "nevernever waiting list'' applied subtle pressure on patients to consider private health care and was a way of manipulating the true state of the health system.

'They are manipulated to best suit whatever political motive,' Dr Bird said.

'They become meaningless and farcical.'

Dr Bird said the amount of people waiting was "deliberately made unmeasurable."

'Two things make me angry. One - this is the way we are treating people like Audrey, two - the lack of transparency,' Dr Bird said.

'There's no honesty, integrity or openness. That lack of transparency is a problem of the culture of Queensland Health.

'It's really difficult for them. They're vulnerable.

'It's disappointing that we have that lack of transparency despite what has gone under the bridge recently and people like Audrey are paying the price.'



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