Waiting list mix-up adds to 83-year-old’s suffering
Cameron Best | July 23rd, 2012
FOR nearly four years, Wally Conron believed he was on the public waiting list for a hip replacement.
For nearly four years, he has been waiting for a phone call he hoped would give him a new lease on life.
But the 83-year-old from Gnarwarre, who is credited with breeding the first labradoodle dog, was not on a waiting list at all.
Mr Conron believes the health system has let him down but Barwon Health claims he was considering hip surgery only nine months ago.
“It’s a balls-up as far as I’m concerned and I’ve been suffering,” Mr Conron said.
“There are days when I can’t walk, nights when I can’t sleep.
“I’m sure there’s been plenty more people fobbed off like I have, but I want to get to the bottom of it and find out what went wrong.”
Barwon Health records show Mr Conron was recommended a more conservative treatment of physiotherapy and rehabilitation for his hip complaint in late 2008.
Spokeswoman Kate Nelson said a referral from Mr Conron’s GP last October clearly stated he “would now consider hip surgery”.
Mr Conron maintains he was told by a specialist at the Geelong Hospital late last year that his condition had deteriorated and he would be elevated on the waiting list.
“He said: ‘Your hips are in a really bad way, I’m putting you right up the top’,” he said.
He has now officially been on the waiting list for less than two months, with Barwon Health expecting Mr Conron to receive his surgery by the end of the year.
Mr Conron bred the labradoodle in the late 1980s while working for the Royal Guide Dogs of Australia.
Answering a call from a visually impaired Hawaiian woman whose husband had allergies, Mr Conron crossed the labrador retriever and a standard poodle to get a guide dog that didn’t shed hair.
Now Mr Conron is suffering the same lack of mobility he helped others overcome.
He said he was having to take more painkillers as his condition deteriorated and was finding it difficult to function.
“It is getting worse and worse as time goes on and, if it’s not done soon, I’m going to be completely housebound,” he said.
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