Amilia McFarland was left in tears after she claims she was denied a vital script that keeps her alive.
A type-one diabetic, Mrs McFarland said she felt ridiculed on Tuesday when a doctor at Wagga GP After Hours Service allegedly refused to provide an urgent dose of insulin and rudely criticised her ability to manage the condition.
She said for the first time in 20 years she had run out of insulin – a blood-sugar regulator – and misplaced her script.
In and out of hospital, Mrs McFarland said she was also studying, working and caring for an autistic child while her husband managed shift work.
With one day’s dose remaining, she was unable to get through to her regular doctor and turned to the after-hours GP as she did not want to waste the valuable resources of the emergency department.
“Because of the wait to see my regular GP, I thought I’d take my other scripts as well,” Mrs McFarland said.
“But the doctor said I was abusing the service – even though I said it was important because I was going to run out of insulin.”
She said it was only insulin that was urgently required but the doctor refused to provide a script as he didn’t know her dosage.
Mrs McFarland explained she didn’t require a specific measurement as it was a standard vial for a pump, located under her arm.
“He essentially said it wasn’t his fault that I needed to organise my life better and I needed to be more responsible and to plan ahead,” she said.
“When I said I was angry and wanted to leave, he said the feeling was mutual.”
She said the doctor proceeded to print her other scripts, extending his arm to her and abruptly pulling back as she reached for them.
Mrs McFarland said she didn’t want to slander what was a great after-hours service but instead wished to increase the awareness of diabetes and encourage further education among health professionals and the wider community.
“I don’t want to be in a position like this again,” Mrs McFarland said.
“I’m just worried the same doctor will do something like that again to someone in need.
“I don’t want anyone else to go through this either.”
Mrs McFarland said her chemist had thankfully provided her with a forward dose, ahead of a pre-booked appointment this week.
Fellow diabetics and the social media community have rallied behind Mrs McFarland, offering their own insulin supplies and support and sharing their own personal experiences.
“It’s really good to have that support,” she said. “They’ve even offered to help write a letter of complaint.”
Murrumbidgee Primary Health Network chief executive James Lamerton said it was taking the matter very seriously.
“We are aware of the incident,” Mr Lamerton said. “And we are currently investigating.”