NSW Health focus too much on dollars, not patients

EMERGENCY: Neale Battersby of Goonellabah was treated on an ambulance trolley at Lismore Base Hospital after suffering a heart attack on Saturday.
EMERGENCY: Neale Battersby of Goonellabah was treated on an ambulance trolley at Lismore Base Hospital after suffering a heart attack on Saturday.

A GOONELLABAH man who was treated on an ambulance trolley after suffering a heart attack on Saturday night says NSW Health care is about dollars, not patients.

Neale Battersby said he feels like he was let down by NSW Health.

"To the health service their bottom line is the dollar, but to the doctors and nurses and everyone else who works at the hospital, it's the patients who come first," he said.

"Doctors have taken a Hippocratic oath to help their patients; hospitals haven't."

The 54-year-old, who called the ambulance after suffering chest pains and shortness of breath on Saturday while

mowing his lawn, said he soon became a victim of bed block at Lismore Base Hospital.

If we had a major catastrophe in the area I think a lot of people could end up dying from it because the essential services we all pay for and we all rely upon are being tied up

- Neale Battersby

"The ambulance was there within five minutes and the paramedics were fantastic, they got me down to the base hospital only to be held up in the parking area at the front of the hospital with other ambulances parking there.

"When they realised I was a heart case they took me aside immediately and began working on me in the emergency department while I was still on the ambulance trolley."

Mr Battersby said he trusted the hospital staff.

"I felt confident with the people who were working on me because they are excellent staff who do a damn fine job under extreme circumstances."

"There has to be a better way and a quicker way of getting things under control, especially in an emergency department."

Mr Battersby said if a major emergency had occurred on Saturday night people could have died, as all resources were tied up.

"If we had a major catastrophe in the area I think a lot of people could end up dying from it because the essential services we all pay for and we all rely upon are being tied up."

Lismore Base Hospital general manager Wayne Jones said an Emergency Medical Unit due to be commissioned next year will increase the emergency department capacity.


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