Patients wait as list grows

A SPRINGDALE Heights mother said she may have to wait up to two years to get her hip replaced with waiting lists at Albury Wodonga Health blowing out because of funding cuts.

Kaylene Wilson, 49, has osteoporosis in both of her hips and spine but it’s her right hip that is in desperate need of a replacement.

The mother of five is in constant pain, she cannot work and her 12-year-old and 14-year-old, the only children remaining at home, have to help her with simple tasks like pulling on socks.

“I can’t even dry myself and that is sad and it’s really degrading,” she said.

“It’s like I’ve been disabled.”

Doctors determined she was a category 3 patient, meaning her case was not urgent and her surgery would happen in a year.

But that year has ticked past and Ms Wilson said doctors told her surgery would not happen until the middle of next year.

“I couldn’t believe it. I said to my doctor ‘I’m not going to make it’,” she said.

Ms Wilson aired her frustrations on the Save Albury Wodonga Health Facebook page.

The campaign is run by the Albury Wodonga Health Community Advisory Committee, made up of eight community members who are trying to stop funding cuts to the health service.

Committee member Robyn Raine said Ms Wilson’s case is not unusual and there are “cattle stations” of people waiting for surgery longer than they should be.

“No one is getting done within their categories,” Ms Raine said.

“We haven’t got the theatres on both campuses at capacity and we should have all these theatres on both campuses running at full capacity.”

She said people like Ms Wilson, who were once non-urgent patients, were becoming emergency cases because they’re having to wait so long.

She said it is nothing to do with the “passionate” staff, but all about a lack of funding.

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