By Laura-Lee Traynor
Patients with illnesses such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge eating claim they are waiting up to three months for overnight hospital care.
ED sufferer Felicity Grace, 20, who is now being treated at Hollywood Clinic, claims she had to fly interstate to seek treatment the last time she needed care.
“I was already at critical point when I needed a bed, so I spent money to fly to Queensland because it was the only option at the time,” Miss Grace said from her hospital room this week.
The young makeup artist is calling for more beds to become available in the public and private systems after having to wait “months” to get into a Nedlands clinic.
Hollywood Clinic, in the grounds of Hollywood Private Hospital, treats adults with mental health issues including eating disorders. The 70-bed clinic –the only facility in Perth to offer people with eating disorders 24 hour care – devotes 10 of its beds to ED patients.
“I consider myself lucky enough to have private health insurance, because at Hollywood clinic it’s mandatory what people with no PHI and a disease such as an eating disorder do? I don’t know,” Miss Grace said,
Clinic spokeswoman Kate Fleming told Bounce News the clinic was almost always at capacity.
“Somedays there are no beds and then another day there will be two beds free, but they fill almost immediately,” Mrs Fleming said.
Another ED sufferer, who prefers to be known only as Clare, has also flown overstate for a room due to the lack of space in Hollywood Clinic.
“While it’s a great clinic, with amazing programs and has got me to where I am now – in remission, I waited about two and a half months to get admitted,” Clare said.
The clinic has three professional specialised programs, the Eating Disorder Inpatient Treatment Program, the Eating Disorder Day Program and the newly introduced Day Patient Bulimia Nervosa Program.
Mrs Fleming believes that while Hollywood Clinic is doing the best it can do with the area and amenities it has, adopting stronger outpatient services for individuals to access would help while they wait for a room.
“There is a large amount of people who need access to the services, unfortunately we are the only inpatient facility, so more specialised beds and programs around WA would definitely be effective to deal with this great number in the future,” Mrs Fleming said.