NITV News has heard claims of hospital maltreatment of a 67-year-old patient who says she was thrown out of her bed in the early hours of the morning and had to find her own way home.
Aunty Coral Campbell, a Gumbaynggirr-Dunghutti woman who lives in Port Kembla, south of Sydney, was in hospital receiving treatment for a lung condition.
"They came and turned on the lights and said 'you've got to go now' and that was 4.00 this morning"
"I was laying in one of the special beds, an old lounge chair, and for about 20 minutes, and they came and turned on the lights and said 'You've got to go now', and that was 4.00 this morning. And I said, 'Cant I stay here until it's morning time?' and the doctor said 'It is morning time'."
I said 'It's still dark but, there's no transport, I've got no way of getting home.'
"And here's me sitting down crying my eyes out, no one there for me"
She said when she was sitting out side it was raining and cold. "And here's me sitting down crying my eyes out, no one there for me."
She added that she walked for 2.5 hours to get home all with a hospital canula stuck in her arm. "They left the needle in me," she said. "It's real scratchy and it hurts.
"All I wanted to do was get fixed."
In a statement issued to NITV News, the acting director of clinical operations for the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District, Suzanne Harris said:
"Wollongong Hospital has been trying to contact the patient to directly discuss her concerns since yesterday afternoon," and that hospital staff had also been "in discussion with the local Aboriginal Medical Service to ensure the patient received appropriate follow-up care."
Ms Harris added that the patient was assessed and offered appropriate treatment, which she declined.
She said it was standard practice to plan discharge with the patient to ensure a safe journey home and into the care of an appropriate support person.
"In this instance, regrettably, the patient left the department of her own accord before this could occur," she said.