End Telstra Bedside Hospital Fees For Patients To View Free To Air Television in SA

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Telstra Bedside is a service which exploits patients by forcing them to pay (approximately $13.75 a day) to watch free to air television whilst in their hospital bed.

My partner’s mother is currently suffering from AML (Acute Myeloid Leukemia) and was previously diagnosed with stage 4 lymphoma. She has been in and out of hospitals constantly and has been unwillingly made to pay this fee in order to be slightly distracted from her pain and current recovery. Often patients in the public health system who are on a pension can’t afford their medical bills, let alone be forced to pay to watch television whilst they recover. We have witnessed countless other patients suffering various terminal illnesses or recovering from surgery who have nothing to do but lie in bed and look at the ceiling.

We find it absolutely disgusting that Australia’s largest telecommunications provider is forcing some of the most vulnerable people who are recovering or facing terminal illnesses to pay for a service which is free for every household in Australia, free to air television. In a place where distraction from a patients current situation is so imperative, Telstra is making a comparatively minuscule amount of revenue by giving patients no option but to pay to watch television.

The service has been installed in the following hospitals throughout South Australia:

Flinders Medical Centre
Lyell McEwin Hospital
Modbury Hospital
Mount Gambier District Health Service
Noarlunga Health Service
Port Augusta Hospital
Port Pirie Hospital
Repatriation General Hospital
Royal Adelaide Hospital
The Queen Elizabeth Hospital
Whyalla Hospital and Health Service
Women's and Children's Hospital

We’re calling on SA Health and Telstra to come together, stop pointing the finger at one another and show some human compassion towards people who need it most. Give the option for patients in South Australia to watch free to air channels free of charge, just like everyone else.