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'Long hard road' to inquest into Indigenous man's death

Stephanie Gardiner -

The family of a man who died soon after being discharged from a NSW regional hospital hope an inquest will make the healthcare system safer for Indigenous people.

Ricky Hampson Jr, a father-of-eight known as Dougie, died on August 16, 2021, less than 24 hours after he left Dubbo Base Hospital in the state's central west.

The 36-year-old Kamilaroi-Dunghutti man went to the emergency department in severe pain on August 14, after feeling a tearing and popping sensation in his abdomen.

He was sedated and slept on and off for 18 hours, before being discharged with painkillers and a direction to drink water.

Mr Hampson Jr died soon after, suffering perforated duodenal ulcers.

A coronial inquest opening on Monday is set to examine the circumstances surrounding his death.

The Hampson family believe he did not receive life-saving treatment due to racism along with bias, as he admitted to using cannabis and his records showed his next-of-kin as a jail he'd left the year before.

His father, Rick Hampson Sr, said a simple scan could have saved his son's life.

"How do we accept that?" he told AAP.

"It's destroyed us as a family.

"It's been two-and-a-half years and it still feels like yesterday."

Mr Hampson Sr hopes the coroner will make recommendations to improve healthcare for Indigenous people, including greater use of Aboriginal liaison officers in hospitals and improved cultural training.

"It's been a long, hard road," he said.

The inquest is set to run for two weeks before Deputy State Coroner Erin Kennedy in Dubbo.

13YARN 13 92 76

Aboriginal Counselling Services 0410 539 905

Stephanie Gardiner - AAP

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