Home > Uncategorized > Rural hospitals do provide excellent care!

Rural hospitals do provide excellent care!

We were always prepared for the possibility of having to find a hospital for emergency health care. My sister had had to avail herself of the local paramedics and a couple of Brisbane hospitals numerous times over the past 18 months and her back pain often flared up with intense ferocity.

My sister’s back was giving her some pain on Day 2, so I took on the driving. As the morning progressed and we drove along the New England Highway my sister’s pain escalated.

We called a stop at Glen Innes so she could get out and do some yoga stretches up at the Celtic Stones overlooking the town. After stretching and popping panadeine forte, my sister announced she was fine to continue the journey.

Within the hour however, she mentioned the pain was escalating fast and she wasn’t looking good. We were about 35 kms out of Guyra (highest town on the New England range). As we entered the tiny town, I was most pleased to see that blue ‘H’ road sign showing the way to the local hospital.

Sister was looking quite gray by now and the emergency department was the safest place for her. I cannot speak highly enough of this very small rural hospital. You read the news stories of NSW health facilities being in atrocious condition but that was not our experience. Guyra’s hospital is one of those multi-purpose health facilities, combining a nursing home with acute care hospital and emergency department. Clean, friendly, efficiently run and the senior nurse did not hesitate to call in the town’s sole doctor. The ancillary staff took Mother and I to the mixed-use staff/visitors kitchen for a cuppa and a biscuit.

Initially, the doctor was happy to discharge my sister on the proviso we booked in to a motel so she could rest flat. After my sister was comfortably settled and resting, Mother and I strolled across the highway to the village shops. Most of them were closed for a funeral. One death in a small town has a huge impact.

Guyra is home to the Blush Tomato industry and very proud the townspeople are of these tomatoes. Grown under humungous glasshouses, these tomatoes taste like tomatoes should, full of summery goodness.

The supermarket was still open so we were able to pick up a few foodstuffs & tomatoes for later. We got back to the motel room to see my sister shaking violently, clammy and extremely pale. She was also experiencing severe vertigo. Back to the hospital. This time they opted to keep her in overnight for monitoring.

By morning she was feeling a lot better. A mix of painkillers for the back and Stemetil for the vertigo (presumed to be post-viral given her recent cold & sinus block). No driving for her. The back seat of the car was re-arranged to allow her to lie flat-ish whilst remaining belted up, with lots of pillows for support. And the Bears for company.

DSCN3207The Playwright after her night in a private room courtesy Guyra hospital. Bears in attendance. 🙂

  1. September 8, 2009 at 12:54 pm

    How can they have celtic stones overlooking an Australian town? 🙂 Were these stones moved up there in the 70’s? 🙂

    Glad to hear the trip went well. Port Broughton’s hospital sounds similar ie aged care plus emergency

    • September 9, 2009 at 6:51 am

      They’re local stones, came out of a Bicentennial project, to pay homage to the town’s Celtic connections/history. They are quietly impressive and blend in to the park’s surrounding native trees quite nicely. Each year there’s a Celtic festival and that does include all sorts of intriguing folk from all kinds of backgrounds. The pipes and drums would be the most conservative aspect to that festival me thinks! Here’s a pdf with some interesting info on the stones and why they’re aligned just so … http://svc095.wic466d.server-web.com/images/glen/australianstandingstones.pdf

      I’m very impressed with South Australia’s rural health system. It’s amazing how many small towns have hospitals.

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