Link December 2018 Volume 27 Issue 6 - Page 34

issues By Julie Moss JUST INVISIBLE When artificial intelligence student Ricky Buchanan caught glandular fever two decades ago, little did she know it would lead to her being bedridden for life. A fter years of difficulties in accessing home- based healthcare, Ricky, now 45, has become a disability activist to help herself and other bedridden patients. Her detailed report, ‘Just Invisible: Medical Access Issues for Homebound/Bedridden Persons’, disability stops attending the surgery, about five years’ ago I realised it there is no follow-up to check if wouldn’t change. So, I started writing was asked by Link why she is raising that person needs home visits or in frustration and anger, once I awareness about healthcare for telephone consultations. started, it all came pouring out.” was published online mid-year. When Melbourne-based Ricky bedridden people, she said: “If you “They are just invisible,” she said. are homebound the medical system Ricky became frustrated waiting assumes you don’t exist. If you are a for the system to change and decided echoing the same problems. She young person the system assumes if to do something about it. interviewed this cohort of computer- you don’t turn up you don’t want it and there is no follow-up.” Ricky said attending a clinic can often mean aggravated symptoms for homebound patients, and if a chronically ill person or person with 34 issues “I’ve been bedridden now for Ricky wrote about her situation on Facebook and soon had others savvy young people via her home more than 20 years and for all that computer and found several time I assumed somebody would fix common themes. the system,” she said. “That’s what you expect systems to do. Get better over time. But Ricky researched healthcare for homebound and bedridden people and discovered a lack of research. linkonline.com.au