#026 – Private Vs. Public Psychiatric Hospitalisation

I think most people have the wrong idea of what a private psychiatric ward is all about. The important word there is ‘private’. I’ve been through the system over the last 15 years. I don’t know how many months or even years I have spent in clinics. I have been to maybe 5 different hospitals and had over 15 admissions. I feel I have the experience in this area to write the following. 

First we need to separate public from private. I can’t put into words how bad the public system sucks! It is bad! I have only had a few visits to public hospitals and they haven’t been for long at all.  These admissions usually resulted from psychotic attacks I went through and there were no immediate available beds in private or when the police picked me up wandering the streets. More money needs to be pumped into the public system. I think that it’s possible to come out worse than when you went in. It feels like a large bunch of unwell people are gathered and thrown into a ward together and just left to their own devices. There were no groups or stimuli, the food was terrible, the nurses had no time for anyone and your allocated psychiatrists couldn’t care less. In most cases there were no visitation rights or they were limited so you couldn’t see friends or family. There was no such thing as a private room. You had to share with the other crazies. I would have to be bloody unwell to find myself in this situation again.

I don’t mind paying my private health cover! I have spent time in 4 different private hospitals, some better than others, but all leaps and bounds above public hospitals. A few were at the Melbourne Clinic in Richmond. The clinic is big and there are a lot of patients but there was also a lot of nurses and the standard of the psychiatry was high (other than my experience with professor Burrows – Blog #008) One of the main problems was it was a distance from home. This made it difficult for my folks to visit every day and for me to make the trip as an outpatient for consultations with my shrinks.

These days I go to the same hospital for every admission. I wouldn’t go anywhere else. I only have good things to say about this hospital. First of all it is so quiet. In other hospitals I’d hibernate in my room because of the massive amount of patients. Here I set myself up in the common area and do my thing. I have people pass me by to go to the smoking area and I make brief conversation with some of them and there are nurses that float about but I’m comfortable with this. Nurses always have time to spend helping me with whatever it is I need, the food is fantastic, I can have unaccompanied leave so I can go into Mornington by myself or go to the service station for Coke and smokes. I can go out with family. I see Gem (psychiatrist) almost every day. I have seen him for over 12 years. There are groups during the day – I don’t do any of these anymore as I have done them all a million times but they are there if I want them. There’s a smoking area, the only problem is that it is closed between 10pm and 6am but I’m on the good side of the night nurse so she will sometimes allow me out for a cigarette if I’m desperate. Because the staff know me so well there is never a problem getting a room. My parents often joke with me about it being more like a resort than psychiatric ward.

Published by aperfecttool83

I'm a 37 year old who lives in Melbourne Australia. I have many interests but I want to base this blog on my mental health. I have schizophrenia, depression & anxiety. I have 15 years experience with psychiatrists and I have had close to 20 hospital admissions. I plan on writing about my delusions, voices, paranoia, depression and how to deal with them psychiatrists :) I really hope this blog can help someone. Please feel free to contact me and I promise to get back to you. Have a nice day!

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