Patient health on line
MEAD MEDICAL PHONES DOWN
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.