SA hospital out of chemotherapy meds

lyell mcewin hospital

A cancer patient has been refused her scheduled chemotherapy treatment as well as medicines from the hospital pharmacy, Adelaide’s Advertiser reports.

This is the latest in a series of problems with cancer treatment in South Australia. This time last year the paper revealed that 10 very ill patients had received half their chemotherapy dose at major hospitals.

The woman presented for her regularly scheduled chemotherapy treatment at the Lyell McEwin hospital, writes medical reporter Brad Crouch, but was turned away because the hospital did not have the necessary drugs.

She then presented to the hospital pharmacy to pick up associated drugs, but was told that the pharmacy had run out.

She was directed to a community pharmacy where the medicines would cost her three times the amount she would have paid at the hospital.

She told the Advertiser that she was worried about whether the bungle would make a difference to her health outcome.

The paper quoted SA Salaried Medical Officers Association president David Pope, who told it that budget cuts had led to reduced stocks at the hospital, including on the wards and in the emergency department.

Medicines which have recently been unavailable include blood thinners, heart tablets and diabetic and seizure medications, he said.

“Until about two years ago … all those regular common medications that are time critical would be located in the drug rooms on each ward and in the emergency department so they could be accessed easily.” he said.

“All those stocks have been removed.”

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