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Elective surgery patients left in limbo as hospital crisis deepens

Liam Bartlett
Article image for Elective surgery patients left in limbo as hospital crisis deepens

A Perth man says he has been forced to wait for more than six months for a hip replacement in WA’s public hospital system.

Single father Brad Wilke is now bed-ridden and has had to move in with his mother because he is unable to care for his three-year-old daughter due to the constant pain.

“I struggle to walk,” he told 6PR’s Liam Bartlett.

“I stay in bed nearly all day, because I can’t sit or stand for long.”

His father is now forking out $30,000 from his retirement savings to fund his surgery through the private sector to ensure he doesn’t have to wait another 12 months.

Australian Medical Association WA President Dr Andrew Miller said there are thousands of people in similar situations across WA.

“This is an enormous problem,” Dr Miller said.

“These people are waiting in pain and they end up with some sort of addiction to pain killers.

Figures from the end of March show 1,332 people in WA have been waiting more than 12-months for surgery.

“We are not doing as well as we could be with elective surgery, and it is the first thing that gets cancelled when the hospital is full and goes into a code-yellow, which we are seeing increasingly rapidly.

“This system just doesn’t have the capacity to look after people.”

Click play to hear more. 

(Photo: iStock by Getty Images.) 

Liam Bartlett
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