By EMMA CORNFORD
AN 83-year-old Gulmarrad grandmother was forced to wait three days in the Lismore Base Hospital for urgent surgery to her broken hip after her operation was postponed numerous times due to staff shortages.
Beryl Logan was transferred to Lismore from Maclean after a fall on Thursday snapped her femur at the hip. That night she was prepped and booked into surgery, but her operation was postponed to allow for 'more urgent' surgery.
Her daughter-in-law, Robynne Logan, said one postponement would have been 'fair enough', but it was not until 3.30 on Sunday afternoon, after Beryl had been waiting for three days with morphine to ease her pain, that she finally underwent surgery.
"The system is in chaos and that's not just here on the North Coast, it's everywhere," Robynne Logan said.
"She's an elderly lady and she's frail and just the constant waiting was so stressful for her. It was the frustration of it all."
According to Mrs Logan, three other people at Lismore Base Hospital that weekend were kept waiting for similar periods for surgery which had been deemed 'urgent'.
Mrs Logan said she blamed the system and a lack of funding and critical staff shortages for her mother-in-law's agonising wait, not the staff at the hospital.
"The care you receive in all the hospitals around here is absolutely fantastic but the system is the problem," she said.
"They've cut the system to the bare bones and maybe they need to look at some of the more frivolous stuff they fund and put more dollars into the medical side of things instead, because everybody needs medical care."
Member for Clarence Steve Cansdell said Beryl Logan's predicament had been 'unfathomable'. "This poor lady has been through hell and back," he said.
"You can't just sit and dose somebody up on morphine while they wait for surgery for three days."