FOR David Dunlop, it was a case of seventh time lucky.
A combination of bad luck and a growing demand on the public health sector meant Mr Dunlop, a former Portland mayor, was forced to visit Geelong Hospital seven times in 16 months before receiving kidney surgery.
Besides health complications, which led to two postponements, the primary reason for the delays was a lack of emergency and intensive care unit (ICU) beds.
“It’s not fair on anyone, it’s not fair on the hospital and it’s not fair on the nursing staff,” Mr Dunlop said of the current situation in the public health sector.
“I’m not bitter towards anyone about it, I just think it’s so confusing and so wrong that sick people have to go through all that.”
Suffering from cystinuria, a genetic disease which creates persistent kidney stones, Mr Dunlop has had kidney problems his whole life and has had roughly 20 operations because of the disease. But, in October 2011, the condition worsened and Mr Dunlop began bleeding heavily from his kidney.
He was taken by ambulance to Portland District Health then air-lifted toGeelongHospitalfor surgery.
Before arriving, Mr Dunlop contracted pneumonia, forcing doctors to treat the infection and delaying the surgery.
Mr Dunlop was sent back toPortlandbecause a bed was no longer available, and another surgery date was set for mid 2012.
Read more in Wednesday’s Portland Observer.