Patient speaks after surgery: ‘The whole system is in crisis’

By | June 6, 2021

Katherine Ingwersen attended hospital at about 1.30pm Tuesday with a severely swollen leg, thinking she might have a blood clot.

X-rays revealed that the leg was broken, with the injury thought to have occurred on Sunday, May 30.

On Thursday, after reviewing her injury, she was told she needed surgery, but it could not be performed in Bathurst and there were no beds available in Orange.

After being transported to Orange Hospital Friday morning, Ms Ingwersen finally had her surgery at around 4pm on Saturday.

The operation went well, she said, and she is now recovering in Orange.

As of Sunday morning, she was unsure when she would be able to go home.

It has been a difficult week for Ms Ingwersen.

On top of the uncertainty over when she would be operated on, she was forced to fast regularly in preparation for potential surgery.

She said all she had to eat on Friday was a sandwich and yogurt, which only came after hospital staff were able to confirm she couldn’t have surgery that day, and on Saturday she was given a salad and snacks after the operation was over.

“I’ve lost so much [weight] since I’ve been in here. I was never very big, but I weighed about 51 kilograms and I’m just skin and bone now,” she said.

Her experience has further highlighted the need to improve health services in Bathurst.

“… It seems the whole system is in crisis.”

She is worried that the situation will only get worse as Bathurst’s population increases in size.

“Bathurst is growing so fast and, as far as we are aware, there are no plans to build a larger hospital,” Ms Ingwersen said.

“It seems to me the hospital is unable to manage the numbers of people now and it’s growing at a huge rate.

“If a hospital can’t cope with the population we have now, how is it going to cope when people move into all the new estates going up?”

While she says there are problems with the health system, she said the staff are great and “doing the best they can with a full house all the time”.

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Western Advocate – Health