The Hon. Prime Minister Kevin RUDD, Minister for Health Carmel Mary TEBBUTT

Fair Treatment for All Patients. Recently whilst my partner was admitted to the emergency ward of our local hospital, i was disgusted to find him in severe pain and having no other alternative than to lay on the floor within the emergency dept (not wait room) due to the lack of care by nurses and staff.

Clearly beds were empty yet from 7pm to 2am my partner had to endure severe stomach pain and vomiting whilst sitting up in a recliner when the only way to alleviate his pain was to lay. Since I sent this to the News I have had hundreds of comments to me about others experiences and i start this petition to encourage more people to voice their comments and concerns.

You can view the video footage and blog here
Channel 10 Report here: http://ten.com.au/ten-news.htm

To the Honorable Prime Minister Kevin Rudd & Minister for Health Carmel Tebbutt

We the undersigned request a review of our public health emergency nursing staff, their training and empathy towards those patients whom which they care for.

For far to long nurses have complained about getting a "Fair Go" yet over the last few years it seems that alot of Emergency Nursing Staff are not giving their patients a "fair go". Treating patients who are distressed and in severe pain like junkies and animals is not the way to win the support of the public.

Recent Incidents in public hospitals:
October 14, 2009: I watched in horror only a few days ago as my partner was forced back by the shoulder into a chair to sit up straight whilst he was vomiting and curled over in extreme stomach pain, i watched on further in horror as our requests for a bed for him to lay were ignored for approx 7 hours, making him have no other alternative than to lay on the floor to gain some relief. I video recorded my partner laying on the floor and the empty beds within the ward and was then removed by the hospital and its security for taping within the hospital, yet i did not see ONE sign saying you were not able to video record or take photographs of your own family and beds!

The Health Commission everyday receive tonnes of complaints regards to nursing staff in emergency and other dept and it appears as though there is no/or a need to implement some sort of post treatment for nursing staff, a de-sensitising routine/programs for all they see and do. Nursing staff have to witness sometimes brutal and nasty injuries and yes of course i feel for those situations, but does this mean they have a RIGHT to treat patients like animals? like they are junkies?

The government needs to step in and bring about a mandatory program for nurses to be de-briefed after severe trauma cases and injuries in order for this to be rectified. The staff have seen so much horrific injuries/trauma's that they now no longer have the capacity to care or empathise with those whom they are treating. Maybe this is the call for them to be removed from the emergency dept and to be placed within a ward where they are not required to show compassion or empathy...oh wait, there arn't ANY wards that should be like that!

In further complaints people have reported:I witnessed the passing out of an African Lady in the local hospital in the emergency wait room. The staff left the lady laying on the floor. When nurses were asked if they were going to do anything, they said no! They left the African Lady laying on the floor, unconscious, another comment about the same local hospital: I was diagnosed with cervical cancer and put on the 14 day wait list for surgery, after 14 days passed with no word i called the hospital to be told that i had been put on a 365 day wait list for cancer removal, when advising i didnt have that long to wait i was told by a staff member "well go private and get surgery or die, its your problem". The list can go on and on, but i'm sure you get the point. I can understand why patients get so angry at nurses and simply put, its because they are treating their patients like animals and junkies and frankly the public has had enough!

With the AMA Report Card released yesterday, it shows that our countries public health system has been failing for years now and is getting worse with no end in sight. The government needs to take action to bring about some sort of legislation or program to change the way our nursing staff are treating their patients and also their policies need to rectified in order to stop the discrimination and unjust treatment of patients who are attending emergency because they are genuinely in need of emergency care!

I urge the Government to put in place some sort of program that can debrief our nursing staff, properly train them in ethics and discrimination (all forms!) and bring back the respect, compassion and empathy that the patients deserve. Maybe our faith in the public system may someday be restored but only through proper training and procedures will we see this.

Thank you for taking the time to read my letter and i hope that you, as our government head and health official take this matter with much seriousness and urgency so that the people of Australia can once again have faith in our public health system.

Kind Regards,

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The Fair Treament of ALL Patients at Public Hospitals petition to The Hon. Prime Minister Kevin RUDD, Minister for Health Carmel Mary TEBBUTT was written by Rebecca Fowler and is in the category Health at GoPetition.