Gladstone family pleads for better care in Brisbane hospital

A TANNUM Sands mum wants regional families pushed to the top of surgical waiting lists in Brisbane hospitals.

Mel Einam is frustrated surgeries for her four-year-old son Hunter, born with a kidney disease, are being cancelled and changed at the last minute.

In March the Einam family left Gladstone at 2am for a morning surgery in Brisbane to be told at 10am it had been cancelled.

Mel Einam and son Hunter, 3 at the Lady Cilento Hospital in Brisbane.
Mel Einam and son Hunter, 3 at the Lady Cilento Hospital in Brisbane.

Last year, when Hunter was incredibly unwell, doctors arranged for him to be flown to Lady Cilento, where a bed would be waiting for him.

>>Dad's Kidney best hope for Hunter

Instead, Mel and Hunter sat in the emergency room for six hours.

Until late Friday Hunter's post-kidney-transplant surgery, scheduled for May 24, had been pushed back too.

It has now been confirmed it will go ahead on its original date but it has left the family uneasy.

We spoke to Mel before she was told the surgery had been moved back. Listen:

"I am relieved," Mel said.

"But still uneasy as he has been on the acute/emergency list before and that was when he had fasted for 14 hours plus, only to be told he wasn't having surgery that day, which happened two days in a row.

"So I just hope they do go ahead with it."

Mel says regional families who are forced to travel to Brisbane to access specialist services should be put before those living in south-east Queensland.

"At a point it needs to come down to geography. If there is an emergency, that's different," Mel said.

"But they need to look at where people are living ... instead of keeping people away from their families."

The Einam family on a rare visit in Brisbane, which cost more than $200. Dad Gary with kids, Hunter, 4, Tennessee, 7 Layne, 2.
The Einam family on a rare visit in Brisbane, which cost more than $200. Dad Gary with kids, Hunter, 4, Tennessee, 7 Layne, 2. Mel Einam

Children's Health Queensland, the state government body, says it does take individual families' circumstances into consideration and surgeries are postponed only when there are no alternatives.

The department's spokesperson said while it worked closely with each family all surgeries were booked on a medical basis.

"Sometimes surgeries are rescheduled to accommodate more urgent cases," the spokesperson said.

"We understand how distressing and disruptive it can be for children and parents whenever a surgery is postponed, particularly when they live outside of Brisbane.

"Providing safe and timely care for patients is always the key priority for Children's Health Queensland."



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