More NSW miscarriage claims

Jana Horska was 14 weeks pregnant and in acute pain when she arrived at Royal North Shore Hospital on Tuesday evening, but later miscarried after being forced to wait.


An investigation is now underway into the incident.

However a second woman has come forward, telling ABC radio she endured an almost identical ordeal at the same hospital.

Jenny Langmaid says her blood ran cold when she heard about Ms Horska's plight as it bore chilling similarity to her own experience.

She said she also miscarried in the toilet of the Royal North Shore Hospital in June 2005 when she was 14 weeks' pregnant, after also being forced to wait for almost two hours with a friend at the Emergency Department.

Ms Langmaid said it was her third miscarriage after conceiving under an IVF program.

She says she told the triage nurse she was having contractions and was going to have a miscarriage, but was treated with no empathy and told there were no beds.

Ten minutes later, she went to the toilet because she could see a surge of blood coming out of her body.

"I had to pull the baby out of a toilet," she said.

"My girlfriend was with me so I actually had to shout out to her to get one of the nurses and when she came, I explained to her what had happened.

"I was screaming and I was obviously quite hysterical.

"She really didn't know what to do so I said, 'You might need to get a pan or something so I can put the baby on and we can take it from there'."

Hospital problems 'chronic'

A medical expert says problems at Sydney's Royal North Shore Hospital are common and a national disgrace.

Dr David Mountain, emergency medicine spokesman for the Australian Medical Association (AMA), says the problem isn't with emergency departments but with hospital systems as a whole.

"This is the sort of story that you actually hear all over the country because of the way we run our emergency departments," he told Southern Cross Broadcasting today.

"If you look at what's happening in Western Australia, where I'm from, or in Queensland, or other places, you will have people in acute pain and with fairly major problems stuck in waiting rooms or in ambulances, not able to get into emergency departments.

"We've had people with dislocated shoulders, people having heart attacks in the waiting room. This is a common problem because of the fact that our (emergency) departments are so overcrowded.

"The issue's not where the departments don't work effectively, but because our hospitals don't. We just cannot get people through our departments into beds in our hospitals.

"We have governments that were addicted to pruning beds out of the system — the only way they thought they could save money in their health systems for the last decade — and therefore the only place that they could keep the people that couldn't get into beds was in the emergency department.

"That's really what they've done for the last decade and most of them seem incapable of turning that around. Most of them don't want to hear the news that they really have to grow some capacity in their (hospital) system to run their system effectively."

Asked to comment on a perception that this was a shocking state of affairs in a wealthy country, Dr Mountain agreed.

"It is absolutely obscene. Most of our state governments are awash with money. Where I am in WA, or in Queensland, the state governments don't know what to do with it there's so much money coming in. They just don't seem to be able to work out what to spend it on," he said.

"It really is a national disgrace how we have let these things happen.

"Obviously, you can't turn everything around overnight but they don't even want to accept the fact there's a problem."