Pa­tient health on line


Kalamunda Reporter - - Front Page - Sarah Brookes FIRST RE­PORTED AT Com­mu­ni­

PA­TIENTS were put at risk when phone lines went down for five days at Mead Med­i­cal in Kala­munda last week, says the cen­tre’s gen­eral man­ager.

Daniel Rarp said he had strug­gled with provider Op­tus to get the phone lines back up and run­ning since the fault was dis­cov­ered on July 16 and un­til the is­sue was re­solved on Thurs­day evening.

“We dis­cov­ered ex­ter­nal calls could not be re­ceived or made about 10am on Sun­day,” he said.

“First thing Mon­day our own hard­ware tech­ni­cian checked the phone sys­tem and ad­vised the fault rested with the line rather than our hard­ware.

“I lodged a fault with Op­tus on Mon­day morn­ing and was never called back.

“The only up­dates I got were when I called them for an update.

“Through­out these calls I stressed that hav­ing the phone lines down put pa­tients at risk due to pa­tients not be­ing able to make book­ings, check test re­sults and doc­tors be­ing un­able to call for au­thor­ity scripts.”

Mr Rarp said it was not un­til Tues­day that the Kala­munda phone lines were di­verted to Mead Med­i­cal’s For­rest­field surgery.

“Late on Tues­day I was even­tu­ally told that the is­sue was a failed net­work card and that Tel­stra had to re­place it,” he said.

“I was told it would be done by close of busi­ness on Wed­nes­day. At 3pm Wed­nes­day I was told Tel­stra were still wait­ing for a re­place­ment part.

“At 10.20am Thurs­day the su­per­vi­sor left a mes­sage say­ing the part was be­ing flown to Perth.”

Mr Rarp said the is­sue was re­solved on Thurs­day evening but he was con­cerned at the length of time taken to fix the fault. “How can it take two days to work out the cause of the is­sue and how can such an im­por­tant part not be in stock?” he said.

“It’s re­ally poor that we could be with­out phones for so long and it’s quite dan­ger­ous for pa­tients.”

An Op­tus spokesman said when the Cen­tre re­ported is­sues with their ser­vice, it in­ves­ti­gated pos­si­ble sources for the dis­rup­tion.

“Op­tus re­sells Tel­stra’s fixed line net­work in Kala­munda and af­ter exploring sev­eral sce­nar­ios we pin­pointed the is­sue lay with a piece of hard­ware that Op­tus does not own. Op­tus es­ca­lated the matter to Tel­stra,” the spokesman said.

Tel­stra area gen­eral man­ager Boyd Brown said Tel­stra’s records in­di­cated they had not re­ceived any of­fi­cial re­ports of a tele­phone fault re­lated to the med­i­cal group’s con­tact num­ber from their provider.


Mead Med­i­cal re­cep­tion su­per­vi­sor He­len Lane.

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