Wife’s battle for Redland Hospital MRI after husband put on six-day wait list for crucial scan

This is the sort of bureaucratic nonsense you have got to expect of Qld Health.  Note that non-urgent MRI scans were routinely and promptly  referred to Cleveland X-Ray, just across the road from where the guy was, but because he was classed as urgent he couldn't be sent there.  So he had to wait days for a scan.  Being classed as urgent DELAYED his care.  That's bureaucratic logic for you

I am fortunate to be able to go private for all my medical care so I get scans as quickly as the day I ask for one.  Note that what priviliges me is NOT the availability of better facilities.  The guy below could also have had prompt treatment except for the rigidy and buck-passing of the public health bureaucracy.  What gives me better care is that I  bypass the wooden heads of an uncaring government bureaucracy

A bayside woman has started an online crusade to get an MRI machine for a busy regional hospital after her husband spent an agonising week waiting for a crucial scan.

Capalaba’s Kirra Conlon started a petition calling for the scanner for Redland Hospital where her husband Matthew, 38, was bedridden after a catastrophic migraine left him unable to walk, speak or function properly.

Mr Conlon spent six days lying in a ward before his distressed family took action and invoked a Queensland law known as Ryan’s Rule to get him a scan appointment at another hospital.

Mr Conlon was initially rushed to Princess Alexandra Hospital on January 30 after suffering a debilitating headache, stroke-like symptoms including being unable to speak or move his arms and legs.

However, after a night in the emergency ward without seeing a doctor, Ms Conlon decided to move her husband closer to home and took him to Redland Hospital.

Mr Conlon was admitted to the hospital’s four-bed stroke ward where his paralysis and headache were treated as the side effects of a suspected stroke.

But after six days and partly regaining some mobility in his arms, he was still unable to speak.

Ms Conlon claimed the week-long delay was due to a range of reasons including that the MRI at the Princess Alexandra Hospital was fully booked.

Her husband was also denied admission to PA hospital because its inpatients got preferential treatment, she claimed.

She said a lack of ambulances to transport her husband from Redland to PA or Logan hospitals also delayed his scan.

“My husband’s GP sent out an urgent referral for an MRI to all hospitals and clinics in the region, but that request went nowhere because my husband needed a nurse to go with him because he was incapacitated,” she said.

“Incapacitated patients on the southside are limited to only using MRIs at Logan and PA Hospitals, where there are always line-ups.”

Non-urgent MRI scans were referred to Cleveland X-Ray, across the road.

Under Queensland Health guidelines, MRI scans were scheduled according to clinical need.

A QH spokesman said that could result in varied waiting times.

But doctors were not able to offer Mr Conlon a diagnosis until after he had an MRI scan, Ms Conlon claimed.

She said she started a petition after a week of “sheer hell”.

“There is no MRI machine at Redland, which is a disgrace for a hospital which is supposedly undergoing a $62 million upgrade so it can treat more critically-ill patients,” she said.

“My husband was left lying in a hospital bed for six days and could not access the appropriate treatment from a neurologist or psychologist until he had an MRI.

“It was only after the MRI (which Mr Conlon eventually had at Logan Hospital) that the specialist doctors were then able to give a correct diagnosis and start the proper treatment – which we hope was not too late.

“Even staff at Redland Hospital are going to sign the petition because they also believe that not having an MRI machine on hand is a barrier to providing proper care.”

Ms Conlon said hospital staff had reassured her of an MRI scan at Logan Hospital on Friday, February 2.

However, Mr Conlon was still waiting on Saturday, February 3 when doctors told the couple that the head neurologist had agreed to an MRI and consultation for Monday, February 5.

But the devastated couple were told on Monday, February 5, that the PA MRI was unavailable.

Mr Conlon was finally taken in an ambulance to Logan Hospital on Tuesday, February 6.

A day after having the MRI scan, Mr Conlon was diagnosed with a functional neurological disorder and treatment tailored for his condition began.

Ms Conlon said she was told another patient in the ward was taken to her scan appointment at Logan by taxi under the supervision of a nurse.



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