Steer clear of weekend illness in Darwin

Becoming sick or dealing with sickness in Darwin particularly during the weekend is absolutely horrendous.

Come Friday afternoon and everything basically shuts down and you don’t have anywhere to go. The only available place is the Royal Darwin Hospital Emergency Department and that is a challenge in itself.

If you are entitled to private hospital care and have the right insurance to cover costs – forget it, for any approval to go there has to come from the RDH ED. They are reluctant, VERY RELUCTANT, to pass you over to the private hospital.

Being sick in Darwin outside of normal weekday working hours is like confronting a vacuum with very few solutions. Weekends become endless and quite horrific. What helps is if you know a couple of people in the medical profession and if you are able to contact them after hours. (In our case we were incredibly helped by a medical professional we were able to contact.)

People who do not know anyone they can contact in emergency circumstances confront huge problems. Not being able to access the Darwin Private Hospital for admission of treatment without going through the RDH ED is a real problem. It’s not helped either by the seeming reluctance of ED to contact the DPH for patient transfer purposes. In my experience that has been the case (several times) despite requests for this to happen.

A further problem is that some surgeries advertise home doctors will come to visit for fees outside the regular structure. That is not the case; while the service is used to exist it is now are extinct. Yet the advertisements for this service continue to be announced on websites or by phone message.

I believe the only service that might be available after hours is Golden Glow nursing. Nothing else is available.

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