How your postcode can determine the quality of care you get on FOUR CORNERS
HEALTH HAZARD: How your postcode can determine the quality of care you get
“You’d be forgiven for thinking you were in a third world country.” Wife of patient
Hospitals are supposed to be a place of care where patients are treated by highly trained staff well versed in dealing with emergencies and a vast range of illnesses. But not every hospital is delivering first class care.
“If we don’t do something, and speak out, then this will just keep on happening, again and again, all around the country.” Father of patient
On Monday Four Corners reveals concerning evidence about the standard of hospital care many Australians are receiving.
“It’s terrible. You go home at the end of a shift, knowing that because of the circumstances that you’re forced under, you are unable to give a person potentially safe and adequate care.” Nurse
Medical staff say it’s time to speak out about a series of catastrophic incidents where patients have died or been permanently disabled.
“I’m aware of the consequences of speaking publicly. As a colleague of mine said to me, ‘at the end of the day, it’s your integrity that counts’. And I believe that’s true.” Doctor
Preventable deaths and terrible injuries have occurred because of the treatment patients have received.
“Every waking day is a sense of grief, really. That sounds awful, but to get through a day… I don’t think you can ever really get over that when something like that’s happened to your youngest son.” Mother
Those left with lifelong disabilities as a result of medical mistakes struggle to rebuild their lives.
“From being able to do everything…now I can’t do anything.” Amputee
The further a patient is from a major city hospital, the higher the rates are for preventable deaths. And with Australians being encouraged to move out from the city rat race for a sea or tree change the greater the strain on the hospital system, leaving medical staff struggling to cope.
“It’s unacceptable that your postcode can determine the quality of healthcare that you receive.” Lawyer
Health Hazard, reported by Louise Milligan, goes to air on Monday 9th September at 8.30pm. It is replayed on Tuesday 10th September at 1.00pm and Wednesday 11th at 11.20pm. It can also be seen on ABC NEWS channel on Saturday at 8.10pm AEST, ABC iview and at abc.net.au/4corners.