Kylie Douma was refused entry in the hospital emergency department after no local GP was available to see her.
Kylie Douma was refused entry in the hospital emergency department after no local GP was available to see her. Jessica McGrath

Seeing a GP not always an option

A KINGAROY resident drives three hours to a Brisbane hospital after her experience with a local emergency department.

A lack of available general practitioners at her local clinic led to Kylie Douma approaching the Kingaroy Hospital emergency department for pain killers.

Miss Douma has had a brain tumour for 26 years and often has 10 out of 10 pain, needing prescriptions for the migraines when it becomes unbearable.

The receptionist at the South Burnett medical centre told her she should go to the emergency department and they would not mind due to her prior history.

"I put it off and then thought I'd better go up," Miss Douma said.

The doctor at the emergency room refused to treat her or give her a prescription and got abusive words wise, she said.

"He said, we're not here for that... haven't you seen the adds?" Miss Douma said.

The doctor then rang the receptionist of the clinic and abused her over the phone, she said.

"I'm very unhappy with how Kingaroy hospital not only treated me, but also the ladies at the desk of the South Burnett centre," Miss Douma said.

She was only given slow release pain killers by the nurse and has been refused to be examined at the local hospital.

Queensland Health have been running a campaign to discourage Queenslanders from attending emergency departments with GP-related health concerns.

A Darling Downs Hospital and Health Service spokesperson said in a non-emergency people should call 13 HEALTH (1343 2584).

"A qualified registered nurse will help to direct you to the right care, whether it is a GP, pharmacy or emergency department," they said.

If there is no alternative available in except to go to an emergency department in a non-emergency, patients must be aware they may have to wait for an extended period to see a doctor, the spokesperson said.

"While no patient seeking assistance from an emergency department is refused care, people with less severed illnesses or injuries will have to wait longer for treatment than people with more urgent needs," the spokesperson said.

The Darling Downs Hospital and Health Service said they had no record of complaints similar to Miss Douma story over the past year.

"We have reviewed the DDHHS complaints records back to the beginning of last year and have not received any complaints regarding a presentation that fits this description."

They said the hospital's top priority is the providing the highest level of patient care and welcome any client feedback.