Bryan Thompson, living in constant pain while waiting for a knee replacement.
Bryan Thompson, living in constant pain while waiting for a knee replacement.

Waiting game



Bryan Thompson has every reason to be fed up.

In constant pain and hardly able to walk, the Banora Point man has been waiting 12 months for a knee operation and now he has been told he must wait longer.

"I went through this with my first knee replacement when I waited 15 months," Mr Thompson said.

"I was told 12 months ago it would be about 15 months again but last week I was told it would now be at least 20 months - which is November this year," he said.

And he is not getting much sympathy from the people who can help him.

A spokesperson for Tweed MP Neville Newell said that between Bryan Thompson and his wife they had already had three knee replacements.

"I think they've had a pretty good run really," she said.

"They had other requests for the operations to be at Tweed Hospital and not Murwillumbah and for the operations to be staggered so they could look after each other and we've bent over backwards to comply with the requests."

Now faced with at least an extra five months wait, Mr Thompson is disheartened with the whole system.

"I've been wondering what happened to the election promise made by Premier Bob Carr in 1995, when he said he would resign if after 12 months the waiting time for elective surgery was not less than 12 months," he said.

"It seems that the money has long since dried up and everyone is left waiting even longer than before.

"I'm really upset at our state government for their obvious misallocation of funds.

"People on these waiting lists deserve better than this - many of them live with daily pain."

Mr Thompson said his specialist had even written on his surgery application form to Tweed Hospital that the surgery should be done within three months.

"I need this knee replacement as the cartilage has worn away so much it is now just bone against bone and is extremely painful," he said.

"I'm starting to believe NSW now only stands for Newcastle, Sydney, Wollongong."



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