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Bed repair delay ‘not good enough’

Monday, 16th February, 2015

Anthony Zammitt, a paraplegic man, has been bedbound for years and relies heavily on his electric bed. That’s why it was so traumatic for him when it broke and a replacement part took weeks to arrive. Anthony Zammitt, a paraplegic man, has been bedbound for years and relies heavily on his electric bed. That’s why it was so traumatic for him when it broke and a replacement part took weeks to arrive.

By Erica Visser

A paraplegic man who has spent the last year bedbound is infuriated after being forced to wait a fortnight for his electric bed to be fixed.

Anthony Zammitt has bed sores and spends his time watching television from his bed, which is adjusted electrically for his comfort and so carers can attend to him without injuring themselves.

Mr Zammitt was distressed when the bed’s hydraulics broke during January and it took two weeks for a replacement part to arrive from Sydney-based suppliers.

“Every time I rang the OT department at the local hospital I was told that the required part would be here the next day,” Mr Zammitt said.

“Not only was I inconvenienced, but also the care workers were placed under strenuous conditions.

“I had to raise my bed on an angle to be able to watch my TV. This not only put a strain on the rest of the bed but also on my upper body as the bed would not level out.

“This is unacceptable, as there are a lot of people who require special equipment for a bit of quality in their daily existence.

“People with a disability should not be treated any differently to a normal able-bodied person.”

Mr Zammitt said he was concerned that if his bed were to break again in the future he would once again be put under stress for weeks.

“When I first became a paraplegic everything was serviced from South Australia and it came overnight,” he said.

“About three years ago the ‘powers that be’ decided that NSW was the way to go and now we’ve had these hold ups.

“If I lived in Sydney they’d have the part there the next day ready to be fitted.”

A technician for specialised equipment such as the bed only visited the city four times a year, Mr Zammitt said.

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