Recently I have visited the Darwin Private Hospital on more than a few occasions. And I had a little stay there too.
There's a huge variety of facilities within the hospital such as consulting suites for specialists, the NT Cardiac centre, the reproductive medicine unit, a paediatric unit, a palliative care unit, etc. etc. The wards have lovely names - Corella, Jabiru, and Jacana. All birds.
When I needed to have some routine surgery recently I was accommodated in Jabiru Ward. When my husband visited he told me that he saw there were quite a lot of men in that ward.
I found it absolutely humiliating that I was in a hospital ward clearly labelled as a maternity ward when I definitely was not a maternity patient.
I wondered how those male patients felt. Did they tell their workmates where they were? What sort of jokes were told later? Would you like your brother, husband, father, uncle or grandfather to be placed in a maternity ward?
I've spoken to other women who had a similar experience and they also said that they were so extremely embarrassed to be placed in a maternity ward that they could not bear for their friends to know where they were.
I was so annoyed that I spoke to the general manager of the hospital, emphasising that there are non-maternity patients in Jabiru ward and that all patients should be treated with respect. I asked her how her father or mother might feel if they were in a maternity ward. She did not care. She said that nothing would change and she wanted patients to be treated this way. How on earth do people with such attitudes get jobs?
Why can't all hospital patients be treated with dignity and respect?