Has anybody experienced a difference between public and private cancer treatments?
My personal experiences involved private doctors rooms staffed by doctors and secretaries, and a private hospital with no oncology department, only one day room for chemo and one nurse working there. I recieved no pre chemo education, no health assessments of any sort during or after treatments, no management of nausea and dizziness and I continued to recieve the same chemo dose despite losing of 15% of body weight. After 18 months of severe ill health, a public trained oncology nurse told me that all the patients where she works are weighted prior to each and every chemotherpay dose, and if they lose more than 10% of their body weight, the oncologist changes the dosage.
After changing to the public system I was told I would probably not have not been recommended chemo in the first place as I only had grade 1 cancer. I now have access to a range of qualified nursing staff and other health professionals, my oncologist spends time talking to me and he does regular blood tests for tumor markers, something that was never done at the private doctors rooms.
Has anybody elce experienced anything like this?
Hi Cancer Survivor
There has been a great study done on the crossover from public to private and vice versa. You can read it at http://www.nemics.org.au/Display.aspx?tabid=2734 - click on the "Pathways of Cancer Care line ----" You will find it very interesting.
Many people think that by going private they will get treated more quickly and get better care. Unfortunately that is not always the case as was your experience.
At sea, the boat is the professional and the crew are amateurs...Anon
I guess I had the best of both worlds.
I had surgery in a private hospital (due to circumstances of admission) with no problems.
I then saw all of my doctors in their private rooms but I had treatment through a relatively large public hospital with amazing, beautiful oncology specialists.
At one point I had to see my onc due to low neutraphil levels at the public clinic and I had to wait 3 hours and I saw his registra(who did confer with my doc), but this was out of the ordinary.
So as I said, i guess I had the best of both.
Glad you gave the public system a go. I do agree that in relation to the oncology department public is the way to go as they have a whole multidisciplinary team working together where one can be referred to other health professionals as required. They also have regular meetings where they discuss patients, their progress, their issues which has got to improve treatment even if we are only needing to see the oncologist as that person is more aware of us holistically. I was given a book on chemotherapy which included a summary of all the allied health professionals on the unit and what their role was.
A friend of a friend has mestatic breast cancer and is being treated by a private oncologist. She has no breast care nurse because there aren't any in many of the private hospitals and thus no support or someone who can co-ordinate which other health professionals you need to see.
Some people mention that in a public oncology department one may need to wait a while to see the oncologist as they often run late, sometimes because of things that come up with patients with appointments prior to you. Ie if a patient becomes very distressed or needs to ask questions or is not understanding something an oncologist does need to spend that extra time. But the upside is that conversations start up in the waiting room and friends are made especially as often it's the same people coming at the same time (ie morning)
Cancer Council NSW would like to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which we live and work.We would also like to pay respect to elders past and present and extend that respect to all other Aboriginal people.