NSW woman forced to cross Queensland border with broken ribs after being released from hospital
Phoebe, 20, was taken to Gold Coast University Hospital with broken ribs, a cracked breastbone and internal bleeding after a frontal accident on October 14 near Tweed Heads.
The young woman, who returned a negative COVID-19 test to the hospital, said within 24 hours of admission she was discharged from the hospital, put in a taxi and taken to a gas station. Eleven on the Queensland side of the border.
The taxi driver was unwilling to cross the border and the hospital had not organized transportation services, she said.
From there, he was told to cross the border into NSW.
Phoebe’s mother Joanne told 2GB she was disappointed with her daughter’s treatment and said she walked to the taxi rather than being put in a wheelchair.
“She had to walk out of the hospital, get into a taxi herself, open and close the door with her wrists and ribs broken and carry her bags,” she said.
Joanne said that once Phoebe got to the gas station, the taxi driver told her there was no way to cross the border.
“He said because I will not be allowed to come back,” she said.
Her mother said the experience left behind had “tears” streaming down her face.
Phoebe went to emergency services three weeks later after experiencing major complications.
A spokesperson for Gold Coast Health said that while staff members understand that the hospital “can be overwhelming,” they adhere to statewide protocols when treating patients who have been in the hospital. COVID-10 hot spots to minimize the risk of the virus spreading.
“These protocols include limiting contact with staff and visitors. Decisions about when to discharge patients from the hospital are based on clinical assessments,” the spokesperson said.
âAlthough a car accident is considered a traumatic event, injuries vary widely and can range from minor to very serious. Patients with severe trauma stay in the hospital much longer than 24 hours.
âAfter a traumatic incident, patients are assessed to determine their injuries, and investigations such as CT scans and x-rays are used to rule out serious injuries. Upon arrival at the hospital by ambulance, a trauma patient is examined by a doctor. team specializing in trauma, with other specialist clinicians consulted as needed.
âDischarge plans, including modes of transportation, are developed in consultation with patients. In cross-border situations, arrangements are sometimes made to bring the patient to an agreed point to which family members must comply.
“We encourage patients who have concerns about the care or services provided to them to contact our Patient Liaison Department so that they can be specifically followed up by our team.”