Stroke victim waited for 24 hours for treatment
The NSW Labor Opposition has called on Health Minister Jillian Skinner to personally apologise to Ryan Brooks – a stroke victim left waiting in emergency for 24 hours before receiving treatment at John Hunter hospital.
Mr Brooks suffered an apparent stroke while walking along Merewether Beach last Monday. He was left waiting for an ambulance and then reportedly shunted between waiting rooms at Calvary Mater and John Hunter Hospitals for almost 24 hours before gaining admission to the neurological ward.
"When a stroke victim is left waiting for 24 excruciating hours before being admitted to the neurological ward – it's time for the O'Farrell Government to address the Hunter hospital crisis," Shadow Minister for the Hunter Linda Burney said.
"Health Minister Jillian Skinner must issue an immediate apology to Mr Brooks and his family.
"The Minister must come clean on why Mr Brooks was left waiting in paralysis for 24 hours – an ordeal that no stroke victim should ever have to endure.
"The NSW Labor Opposition further calls on the Minister to refer the case of Mr Brooks to the Healthcare Complaints Commission for a comprehensive investigation.
"Today my heart goes out to Mr Brooks and his family. I was with my late husband Rick when he suffered a stroke. An ambulance arrived immediately and there was no mucking around. His condition was treated with the utmost seriousness.
"By contrast, the system has failed Mr Brooks – and he and his family are right to be furious and demanding answers."
Shadow Minister for Health Dr Andrew McDonald said: "After 16 months of Barry O'Farrell administering the health budget, Hunter hospitals have been underfunded to the point of crisis.
"How many horror stories will it take for Barry O'Farrell and Jillian Skinner to wake up and realise Hunter hospitals need additional investment?
"Median ambulance response times across the Hunter have blown out to as much as 20 minutes – double the figure State-wide.
"Last month's Budget contained not an additional cent to alleviate demand pressures on overstretched emergency wards – at John Hunter, paramedics are being forced to tend patients in the car park because there aren't enough beds.
"Cancer services in the region are on their knees – with sufferers forced to travel to Sydney for life-saving treatment because of the shortage of oncologists.
"More than 100 positions remain unfilled in the Hunter area health district according to the NSW Health website.
"Barry O'Farrell is badly letting down our doctors and nurses who are doing the best they can in tough circumstances.
"The Premier has broken his promise to improve the health system. He is failing to allocate Hunter hospitals the resources they desperately need."
Tags: Barry O'Farrell, budget, health, hospitals, hunter valley, Jillian Skinner, John Hunter hospital, Linda Burney, NSW government, NSW labor