Thursday, October 5, 2023

A visit to The Alf

The Royal Prince Alfred Hospital is I think its correct name.

A person called me the night before and asked if I could attend at 9.00am instead of 9.30, as my appointment stated. No problem. I have been to consulting suites before in Alfred Lane House but I checked a map to make sure I knew the way. It is quite a walk from the main entrance.

I allowed half an hour to get there for such a short distance, which if trams worked liked greased lightning, was too much time, but it wasn't. I arrived relaxed and on time. I was quickly seen by someone who started talking about my chest melanoma, then all sorts of extreme treatments and prognosis and further treatment. Eventually she realised she had my name wrong. Funnily Chemist Warehouse once confused my name for the same name. My family name is not Ferguson. Constantly my date of birth was checked, except by this one person. It was back to the waiting room but I was quickly called back in by the right person who had my correct details. Note to self, if you are not asked for your DOB, ask them to check it. 

I was told about treatment. I had to strip down for a full skin examination, and then a female professor who is presumable an expert in skin cancers came in to check me out. She was nice. One day female professor will be a silly thing to say, but not quite yet. Doctors, a note of advice. Patients will be so much happier and more satisfied if you are a nice smiley person. Oh lordy, don't I know that from my mother.

I chose to give some blood to the country's bio-bank. 

A lesion on my nose was frozen with dry ice spray.

Soon I was back to seeing the first specialist who was now very up to speed with my issue and apologised for the earlier confusion. She talked me through what would happen during the surgery. I chose no sedation, just aesthetic injections. It will be a few weeks away.

I was out by 10.30. First class service by our public health system and at no direct cost to me. 

36 comments:

  1. Isn't it wonderful when our public health system works as it should. On our recent public holiday (of course) I needed to see a doctor. I went to a walk in centre staffed by nurse practioners. I had a bit of a wait, but was seen, requisite medication issued, and left. And two days later they rang to see how I was!!! Good luck with your surgery.

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    1. EC, I really don't know if we have nurse practitioner clinics here? If we don't, we should and if we have, I should know about them. They can solve hospital emergency services problems. While it was a decent wait, the one I attended in England gave first class care at no cost to me.

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    2. They are brilliant. And yes, we should have more of them. Across the country.

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    3. I looked today and every link steered me to a private medical practice.

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  2. Glad it worked for you Andrew. My doctor gave me a care plan for five physio visits, $183 initial consultation wiped for me, bulk billed. What a wonderful country. And I have four more bulk billed visits. I am grateful to live here. Marie, Cheltenham

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    1. Ah Marie, I had the same a couple of years ago. Oddly when I'd used my five visits for arthritis I was prepared to pay for the next one but oddly it too was bulk billed. I learnt a good bit about how to manage arthritis and some helpful exercises but aside from her rather nice neck massages, I couldn't see much point in continuing.

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  3. Sounds good to me, well, apart from the shaky start.

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    1. JayCee, it was a disturbing start. I did not want to be loaded with information about dyes to detect spreads to lymph nodes. I thought my melanoma was minor, and it has turned out to be so, once they had the right person. It is amazing as DOB is constantly checked. I wonder if I had the same DOB as my namesake but with the last name Ferguson. I saw him later and he did look my age.

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  4. When it does not involve KPI and tedious amount of work, things usually go smooth. Glad that you had a positive experience.

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    1. Roentare, maybe it is part of being a medical person but the staff at The Alfred always seem relaxed and well organised, apart from the glitch.

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  5. I've never not been asked for my DOB, and often I'm asked 2 or 3 times. There's a reason for it.

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    1. Tasker, now I realise why it asked so many times and the one time it wasn't, the system failed.

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  6. I know that skin cancer is a big worry for a lot of older Australians. Good to hear that you enjoyed great service at The Alf in spite of the initial identity confusion.

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    1. Thanks YP. It is the worst in the state of Queensland in the tropical north.

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  7. My beloved did his Medicine on .Sydney and his house years and residency on the UK. But his first and best training on Melbourne was at the Alfred. LONG hours but excellent care for patients and excellent teaching for young doctors.

    I am glad you are still finding the care excellent

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    1. Hels, I am pleased to hear that. I don't want to go to another hospital and I've had the best private hospitals in the past, Masada, Cabrini and Epworth.

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  8. I'm glad you are getting good care. I'm repeatedly asked my DOB and what I'm there for! This week at the COVID booster, yet again, every person who saw me. And with the needle poised above my arm, the pharm says tell me again, using my name, what vax are you here for? They're taking care of their liability, I'm guessing because there's a range of shots people come in for. Fine!

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    1. Boud, is your Covid shot the 5th? We've had it but not too many people here have. I'll never take the careful checking for granted again. It would be a big liability if the chopped off the wrong leg of someone because of lax checking.

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  9. Wonderful Andrew that you are taken care of so efficiently. It's a crying shame we all rave when we receive excellent service from our respective health care systems when it should be the standard.
    XO
    WWW

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    1. WWW, a good point and I am pretty well expecting such good treatment now. But for some matters, there can be quite a wait, especially if you and/or your doctor is not a noisy wheel.

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  10. When I worked in Bok Hill we had a huge issue with names etc. Often people would just say they were someone else cos they thought they would get treated quicker. Not good when chemotherapy is involved!

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    1. SM, that is rather amazing that people would endanger their care but using another name. Never underestimate the stupidity of some people.

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  11. I know it's wrong of me, but I would have assumed it was a male professor had you not said otherwise.

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    1. Kirk, we make such assumptions on our experience and most specialists were male. Before Sister and Bone Doctor were married and I could refer to Bone Doctor as Sister's wife, many made natural assumptions about Bone Doctor's gender.

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  12. What! How many melanomas do you have??

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    1. This is my first River. I've had other skin issues that could potentially become cancerous and so were dealt with. Nothing serious. A melanoma is a serious matter and fortunately mine is low grade.

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  13. Fingers crossed the biopsy results are good/fair rather than anything else.
    No matter how intimately you know a hospital (as in you know where depts are) there’s always a feeling of anticipation when you walk through the main entrance.

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    1. Spot on Cathy. The Alfred is terribly confusing. I know from experience there are old corridors perhaps with closed rooms that are falling apart yet still used. Look out for that tile above that is hanging down.

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  14. Bood to read a positive report about the public hospital system, we often only hear negative reports.
    Well that should never happen, you being the wrong person and it can frighten so many patients being told those things you were told when it's not for you - oh dear!
    Good luck then with the coming op.

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    1. Margaret, my skin cancer doctor is good. She knows how the public system works and I am treated promptly. I know this is not the case for every public patient. To tell the truth, I was getting frightened by what I was wrongly being told. I feel sorry for the bloke who does have that clearly advanced melanoma.

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  15. Glad it went off well, Andrew. Get well soon :-)

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  16. It sounds pleasingly efficient, apart from the initial mix-up.

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    1. Yes JB. And that is how it should be. Fight to your death to keep your NHS system.

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