Hi I know it's late but was wondering if anyone can tell me if I have any right to contact my dad's doctors re condition, medication etc. I live sth coast NSW and he lives Central Coast NSW and he has been in hospital on a few occassions and keeps having medication changed/increased. I just want to know if I ring his specialist/GP do they have to give me information without his consent as at the moment he is so vague about things. Cheers Chris
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Hi Chris, I had this problem with my dad-in-law (recently passed away), and have made sure that I can contact my dad's doctors now that he is battling cancer. With my dad-in-law, I learnt a little too late, that more often than not you need to have him or his Power of Attorney put you on all the paperwork as "authorised to contact and be contacted regarding all aspects of his medical condition". If you get to do this, particularly don't forget the "to be contacted" part on, as many will then call you when there is a significant change that they feel you should be aware of. I have had my details put with all the medical doctors and on every hospital form possible. Some doctors will talk to you anyway, so if your dad can't give you the information you need, try calling the specialist. Being part of the next of kin, they may release the information to you. When you do call them, you can also ask them how you can get on the contact form if your dad can't instruct them. If you can get your name on the medical forms, you will also find that you can call the nurses for updates what his status was for the day, on his comfort level etc...that is a real relief especially when you are so far away and worrying (like me!) I would start with calling the specialist and see if they will update you and if not, how they suggest you get authority to contact and be contacted. Personally I find the specialists and nurses easier to deal with than the GP. If dad is in hospital at present, you can always call the nurses station and ask for the doctors to call after their next 'rounds' (this one works a treat) With my dad-in-law, we had to rely on scattered information from his elderly wife (my husbands step mum), we ended up with a false understanding that he was well on the way to recovery - up until that 3am phone call. This is why I WON'T make the same mistake. Dad-in-law was unable to comprehend his condition in the last two weeks and his wife only picked up snippets of information and missed vital condition changes. Good luck Chris, I hope you can get the updates... Katie 🙂
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Hi Katie thabks for that info. I am about to ring dad nowbut I think he will not give me permission to talk to his drs. bUT we will see Chat soon Chris
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Hi Katie. Thanks so much for your advice and sorry to have taken so long to answer but I have been in hospital as well. I didn't want to mention anything to dad over phone and he is coming to stay with me for 2 weeks over Easter and I will bring all these issues up with him then and see what happens. But this morning he rang me pretty upset as he said he can't stand what this is doing to me!!!!. As I've said before I know he is more worried about me than himself and I feel So greatful to have my wonderful dad. Maybe when he is here for 2 weeks I can convince him to move down here and at least I will be able to keep an eye on things. Just read that your dad is having more problems. Please remember my thoughts are with you and your dad xoxo Chris
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Hi Chris, I hope that you are home and okay!?! My dad is in hospital at the moment, (bloody infections!) Anyway, I rang the hospital and spoke to the sister in charge, she didn't know me but gave me an update after I explained I was his daughter who lived in QLD, she didn't question me on 'privacy act stuff', maybe it is easier when they are a little older (like our dads). I really think that they don't get too many non-family members calling onco ward to see how things are going. Also, you are probably on his paperwork as a next of kin. Your dad sounds so much like mine, always worrying about what this is doing to us, never mind what he is going through! I had a great chat to my dad about what he wants to do and what he is prepared to do, we talked for hours about everything and nothing, I think that your dad will be a lot more accepting of you being able to correspond with doctors etc, once he has seen and spoken to you again, you could always explain that you will rest easier if you know exactly what the doctors are doing and why. I am really thrilled that you will have your dad with you over easter, it will be good for the both of you. Nothing soothes the soul better than having your dad around! If you want to chat or vent, please drop me a line. I hope you have a wonderful weekend. Katie 🙂
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Hi Katie. Thanks so much for that. Yes I am home but have to go for more tests next month. But that is the least of my worries!! I think it will be great for me and dad both to be together over Easter and my kids and grandkids are all coming to visit with him. Hope your dad gets over the infections and you all have a lovely Easter too. Take care. Chris
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