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  • Shared Experiences

    SpecialistNow: Patient Story - Finding a Neurosurgeon

    Julie had a trapped nerve in her left arm and needed to find a fast-tracked appointment with a Neurosurgeon. Read her experience using Healthshare's free SpecialistNow patient support service.
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    While I was at home one day, I picked up my girls for a cuddle and felt a twinge in my neck. The pain was absolutely excruciating. The following week I was still in pain and unable to go to work. I went to my GP who said I’d probably slipped a disk in my neck.

    I had an MRI and took the results back to my doctor. My results showed I had slipped the C6-C7 discs and trapped a nerve in my left arm. My doctor told me I needed to see a Neurosurgeon and possibly have surgery or else I was at risk of losing the use of my left arm. I was horrified and desperate to get an appointment with a specialist as soon as possible for obvious reasons!

    SpecialistNow found a Neurosurgeon for Julie

    SpecialistNow is a free service provided by Healthshare. We can help connect you with one of our qualified Australian Specialists. To find an urgent appointment visit: SpecialistNow.



    Because I didn’t have private health insurance, my GP wrote me a referral to see a neurosurgeon at the public hospital here in Perth. Finally, 2 months after the accident, I was put on the waiting list for surgery. By this stage I was getting nervous though. The doctor’s words kept ringing through my head. He’d told me this was urgent and here I was months later with no treatment. What if I lost the use of my arm? How could I ever cuddle my kids again?

    Months and months went by. Then one day I received a letter from the hospital asking if I still needed to see a Neurosurgeon. I responded saying I absolutely did. Silence…Nothing…

    My case was closed by the hospital in January, 2016 - 18 months after my accident! They didn’t even have the decency to contact me and tell me my referral had expired and that my case had been closed, despite the letter I sent them saying that I still needed to see a surgeon. After it became clear I wasn’t going to get seen by a surgeon through the public system in WA, I jumped online and started doing my own research.

    That’s when I stumbled across Healthshare. Within 5 minutes of filling in my details on their website, I got a phone call from a lovely woman named Sue. I nearly fainted. Another 20 minutes and Bang! She’d arranged an appointment for me with a specialist in Sydney.

    My first reaction was, “OMG this is amazing!” I could not believe it. After 18 months of waiting, I suddenly had an appointment to see a fantastic Neurosurgeon at Macquarie hospital in April and it was all done in less than half an hour.

    It’s an absolute disgrace that I still haven’t been seen by a specialist back home, let alone had surgery, when I’ve been at such great risk of permanent damage. I actually got put back on the hospital waiting list and still, nothing.

    I’ve been so disillusioned by the medical system in WA. The neurosurgeons there refused to see me for a consult because I didn’t have private health insurance…even though I was willing to pay for a consult! The specialist in Sydney was willing to see me regardless.

    This condition has had an enormous impact on my life. I was unable to work for a year. This has heavily impinged on our family financially.

    The hardest part is that I can’t pick up my two girls for a cuddle or play with them too much in case I cause further damage to my neck. The pain is still awful.

    I’m restricted in what I can do. I’ve gone back to work but I need quite a bit of help from my work colleagues. I work in a plastic manufacturing company in a factory. It’s a lot of manual labour. I can’t lift heavy boxes anymore. I can’t help thinking how my life may be different if I’d had treatment early.

    I would recommend Healthshare to anyone. It was absolutely fantastic. Even though I had to travel to Sydney I was so happy that I got to see the Neurosurgeon, or else I’d still be in limbo. I was let down here in WA but my faith was restored in the NSW system. The customer service was fantastic.

    If you are looking for an urgent specialist appointment, visit Specialist Now.

    Do you have an experience you would like to share with us? Email us at specialistnow@healthshare.com.au.