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Email us at info@questionsmisc.info with your questions on health care people and health care matters – we may be able to help you, or, more likely, refer you to someone who can.

Sending an email will only take a few minutes, we will always respond in some way, you can remain anonymous, and it will not cost you a cent in any circumstances.

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Dr Andrew James Brooks – Sydney Urologist 19

A contribution put together with one of our readers.

I was referred to A/Prof. Andrew Brooks, Urologist, by Dr Chris Grant, a GP I’d been using for 5 or 6 years and thought was quite good, for help with the “frequency problem” I was experiencing – I was having to get up 2 or 3 times a night to urinate, something which, it seems, many seniors experience.

Brooks’ advice was that the problem was that my bladder had become more muscular, and therefor smaller, down to 200 mls in capacity, from years of having to force urine past partial blockages in my urinary tract, but that there was a solution – if I underwent a procedure called a TURP, the partial blockages would be removed, and I would be more or less back to normal within 3 months, certainly within 6 month.

Accepting Brooks’ diagnosis, I was SO trusting and naive back then, I underwent the TURP, on 13 Aug. 2014.

As a consequence, (1) I underwent an operation under a full anaesthetic, which always has it’s risks, (2) I spent 2 uncomfortable days in hospital with tubes running in an out of me everywhere, (3) I incurred costs of more than $6,000, even after Medicare rebates, including Brooks’ fee of $3,200 for less than an hour’s work, (4) I wasn’t helped in any way with my frequency problem, as Brooks himself subsequently admitted in writing, and, (5) I was damaged for life, in that I no longer ejaculated, being deprived of the considerable pleasure that comes from ejaculation in orgasms, which is ALWAYS a consequence of TURP operations, it just doesn’t happen sometimes, your semen is pumped up into your bladder with you not feeling anything, and it can’t be reversed.

It has always seemed to me, since, that if I’d been assaulted by a street thug, and, as a consequence, was damaged for life in this way, the thug would probably go to gaol, perhaps for a very long time.

I now believe that the main problem was that Brooks lied to me when he told me the capacity of my bladder had been reduced to 200 mls, and that, if this was a lie, the TURP was NEVER going to work – but he referred me to his nurse to investigate and report on the capacity of my bladder, (at a higher cost that a properly qualified would have charged,) and she obviously backed him up. I’ve really tried since, but I’ve never been able to get Brooks to supply me with a copy of her report, even though I’m entitled to one by law, and even though I sought the assistance of the NSW Privacy Commissioner to obtain one – Brooks just ignored the Privacy Commissioner, and got away with it! something which you can obviously do. But, even if I ever get a copy, knowing Brooks, it probably would have been fabricated to suit his purposes.

I’ve since carried out considerable research on the frequency problem, and Brooks is the only one I’ve come across who claims that it’s caused by bladders being reduced to a capacity of  200 mls in the way he’d described. It’s usually said that it’s caused by bladders becoming too weak, for whatever reason, to properly empty themselves during urination, so that they are full again in much less time than it used to take, about which nothing can be done – no big fat fees for Urologists!!!

In April, 2015, 8 months after my TURP, as I continued my investigations as to what had gone wrong, and why, I was told by another Urologist that the capacity of my bladder, then, was about 330 mls, about which two things could be said – firstly, that it would seem unlikely that my bladder would have increased in it’s capacity by 130 mls, from 200 mls to 330 mls, in 8 months, when I was in my 70s, and secondly, that if it had, on Brooks’ diagnoses I would have no longer have had the frequency problem, and I’ve got it, STILL, in 2020.

And, another thing – my fees to have my operation in the Westmead Private hospital were $4,110, when I’ve since learnt that, as a pensioner on the full pension, and without private health insurance , it was likely that I could perhaps have had it in the Westmead Government hospital for much much less, perhaps for almost nothing – but again I trusted Brooks when he told me that it would be at least 12 months before it could be done in a Government hospital. I’m sure that even now it could be established what the likely delay would have been for someone in my circumstances back in 2014, and that probably Brooks would have been lying, or at least exaggerating. (A recent HCCC Media Release on a Dr Francis Chu may be relevant to this matter.)

In other ways, Brooks showed himself to be fraudulent and a liar.

I still have the letter in which, 27 days after he’d carried out the TURP, he wrote to his mate, my referring GP, Dr Chris Grant, “He has had a significant improvement in flow rate since undergoing transurethral resection o the prostate.”

But there were only two ways in which he could have known there had been a significant improvement – if tests had been carried out, and no such tests had been carried out, or, if I had told him there had been an improvement, which I certainly hadn’t done, as I didn’t, myself, know whether there’d been an improvement or not, still don’t know to this day. But did this stop Brooks from making his assertion? – of course not.

And I still have a copy of a letter, dated 18 Nov. 2014, in which he wrote to Grant, repeating his unsubstantiated claims that there had been a marked improvement in my flow rate, and which went on to say, “Unfortunately the frequency and urgency is not resolved.” and, “I have prescribed Oxytrol patches.”

So, he was acknowledging in writing that the TURP hadn’t helped in any way with the “frequency problem” – when his mate, Grant, had specifically referred me to him for help with it. And I’d NEVER had an “urgency” problem!!! – that he said I had is another indication of how poor and careless he’d been in his diagnoses. After I’d gone to the trouble and expense of getting the Oxytrol patches and starting to use them, I happened to Google them. and the results indicated that they were “used to treat symptoms of overactive bladder, such as urgent urination, incontinence (urine leakage) and increased nighttime urination,” none of which I’d ever experienced!!!. Which I think is outrageous.

To continue the story, since 2014/15, four of Brooks’ henchmen/thugs, all different, have rung me, making all sorts of threats against me for the comments I’ve made on him that have been put up on the internet, telling me, amongst other things, that I owe Brooks an APOLOGY!!!!!

And one of them mentioned that from time to time Brooks made “contributions,” (perhaps more accurately described as “bribes,”) to GPs to help them in running their practices, which he described as a “norm” for the industry??? Of course, I don’t know whether this is true or not. But you would hardly think that someone speaking on behalf of Brooks would say it if it wasn’t true, especially when it would appear to be such a stupid thing for them to admit, even if it was true. And when I emailed his mate, Dr Chris Grant, my referring GP, asking him if he’d ever received any of Brooks’ “contributions,” not only did he not deny it, he blocked me from sending him any more emails. The possibility is certainly raised that GPs like Grant are referring patients to Specialists like Brooks, to continue getting his “contributions” – which seems much more likely that he didn’t know how bad Brooks was. You would think/hope that Brooks’ reputation have spread far and wide.

Since 2014, I’ve sent Brooks at least 20 emails inviting him to provide his version of things, which, of course, he’s still welcome to do, but not one of them has been even acknowledged.

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We are highly qualified retirees who, for more than 12 years, have been about helping ourselves and our readers in dealing with medical people and medical organisations, about finding the best people and organisations to deal with and avoiding those who may not be the best, and finding the best medical information in the whole wide world.

One of us has University degrees in Law, Arts and Divinity and practiced law in New South Wales for more than 30 years.

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Email us at info@questionsmisc.info.

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A/Prof Andrew Brooks, Urologist – dealing with

We’ve put up so many posts on Brooks, which you are taken to if you use the WordPress search facility on the right on this page.

One of the things about him is that he NEVER answers emails, even those which he’s required by law to answer. When a complaint was made about this to the NSW Privacy Commissioner he advised that his email address was set up so that it weeded out emails from patients so that he didn’t get them – this when our technology advisers tell us that it’s not possible for email addresses to be set up in this way, and when his staff did respond to one, about the mechanics of paying his $3,200 fee for less than an hour’s work.

For a while he had an ordinary email address on his website – admin@andrewbrooks.com.au – and even after he took this down, it still worked for a while, although it’s now stopped working altogether.

And he still has an ordinary email address on the Sydney University’s website – andrew. brooks@sydney.edu.au – but he never responds to emails sent using this address. And one of the things we’ve learnt is that if people don’t even acknowledge emails sent to them using a particular email address within 14 days, that they will deny that they ever received them ALWAYS!

So all he has available to contact him is a fax number!!!!! In this day and age???? If any of our readers ever tells us that they have come across a person or organisation that can only be contacted by fax worthwhile dealing with, we’d be absolutely SHOCKED!!!!

BUT, of course, there’s always snail mail, which we haven’t tried before!!!! So this was sent to Brooks today, on 14 June, 2020, by the post, perhaps just for fun!

We’ll let you know if we get a response.

To us, as we keep saying over and over again, it’s so simple, the best people and organisations to deal with have an ordinary email address readily available and, when it’s used to seek help and information, high quality responses are received, and that those who can be only contacted by fax and/or snail mail are seldom worth bothering with – and if there are readers out there who haven’t realised this, we’re not sure what more we can say.

Email us at info@questionsmisc.info.

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Westmead Government hospital – dealing with

One of our readers reports that, to cut a long story short, after he’d had such a severe dizziness attack that he’d called for an ambulance and been taken to this hospital, he ended up a week later, (after he’d slept the dizziness off and been discharged early the next day, and going back and having a couple of extensive tests on his heart during the next 4 or 5 days,) getting verbal advice from one of the hospitals doctors, a Dr Aravinda Thiagalingham, in a 4 or 5 minute consultation, which he’s sure is absolute rubbish. But he can’t get a second opinion because, despite repeated requests being sent by snail mail and ordinary email to Dr Thiagalingham, he won’t put anything in writing.

To us, the main point about this is that it indicates that the top management in the hospital don’t care. When our reader complained, he received this.

(That it is mentioned that our reader was “kept waiting” is a reference to the fact that Dr Thiagalingham was two hours late for his appointment!!! which, of course, further raises the question as to why his advice wasn’t, at first at least, sent by email – the reader could have waited the two hours if he wanted further information.)

But the main point is how would Denniss know whether anything was “appropriate” or not when he doesn’t know what advice our reader was given?

The fact is that if Professor Dennis, or Health Care Complaints Commissioner Dawson, or Health Minister Hazzard, or, indeed, Premier Berejiklian, cared how patients in this major hospital got on, they would be insisting that their doctors put things in writing, which would make it easy for them to know what was going on. What was done about it would be the next question.

It reminds us of the fact that Peter Drucker, the famous management writer, was always saying that it often doesn’t matter whether those in top management DO anything, so long as those under them know that those in top management know. The way in which Westmead hospital operates, it would appear that those in it’s top management don’t have a clue as to what’s going on with those under them, and the doctors under them know that they don’t know – this when it would so easy for them to know so much if they insisted on their doctors putting things in writing.

Email us at info@questionsmisc.info.

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The NSW Health Care Complaints Commissioner in action 6

Further to this post – ten weeks of utter farce, in which the NSW Health Care Complaints Commission presumably received nearly 500 complaints from NSW people about NSW doctors, (on their own figures, they average receiving nearly 200 a month,) ten weeks in which not one NSW doctor was found to have provided inadequate care or attention to a patient, ten weeks in which nearly 500 complainants were told they had nothing to complain about, ten weeks in which 500 doctors had “the last laugh,” AND NOBODY CARES!!!!!!!!!!!!

We’ve sent SO many emails to Sue Dawson, the NSW Health Care Complaints Commissioner about it, and never got the slightest indication that she cares; and SO many emails to Brad Hazzard the NSW Minister for Health about it, and never got the slightest indication that he cares about it; and SO many emails to Ryan Park the NSW Shadow Minister for Health about it, and never got the slightest indication that he cares about it, and recently, emails to the seven Members of Parliament on the Joint Parliamentary Committee on the Health Care Complaints Commission about it, and not got any indication that any of them care.

And, as for Premier Berejiklian! We’ve never bothered trying to email her – if she was interested in feedback from the people, she’d have an ordinary email address, which, of course, she hasn’t. But presumably, if she cared, something would be being done about it – replacing Sue Dawson with someone who cared would be a good start.

We’ve also emailed various Journalists, and not got responses – presumably this is an issued that’s “too hot to handle” by mere journalists.

In summary, if we, the people, want to know who are the best doctors to help us with our health and welfare and who are perhaps not the best, the HCCC has never been of any help and, on present indications, never will be.

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Consultations with doctors by videos and phones 2

Further to this post, in which it was reported that one of our readers claims to have received an email from the Castle Hill Medical Centre, a medical centre based in the Western Suburbs of Sydney, advising that it was now offering video conferences with it’s doctors, this letter was sent to it yesterday, on 30 Apr. 2020, using the email form on it’s website.

and that this response was received this morning.

This response was sent at 12.51 pm today, 1 May 2020.

To us, it will be nothing short of bizarre if we don’t get a high quality to response to this, within a reasonable time.

We’ll let you know if we get a reply.

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Consultations with doctors by videos and phones 1

One of our readers has advised us that he has just, (on Thursday, 30 Apr. 2020,) received an email from the Castle Hill Medical Centre, a medical practice based in the Western Suburbs of Sydney, with this big headline.

and this photo.

How much is this a development of interest?

We intend to look into it in some detail, and to keep our readers advised.

Our reader advises that although he’s found in the past that the people at this practice don’t really respond to emails, this email was sent back almost immediately.

We’ll let you know if any response is received this time.

A 1 May 2020 update: This response was received at 10:57 this morning, using the ordinary email address, tsteep@castlemedical.com.au.

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The NSW Health Care Complaints Commissioner in action 5

Another more than 10 weeks, (from 8 Feb. 2020 to today, the 22 Apr. 2020,) during which Sue Dawson and her people in the NSW Health Care Complaints Commission received more than 450 complaints from us, the people, about Medical Practitioners, (on their own figures – they say they received 2,377 in 2018-2019,) not one was found guilty of providing inadequate treatment and/or care – not one!

Only one was found guilty of anything wrong – “inappropriate prescribing of opioids and other drugs.”

The other more than 449 were told, presumably, in one way or another, that they had nothing to complain about!

Just as well parliamentarians Gurmesh Singh, Joe McGirr, Lou Amato, Mark Pearson, Walt Secord, Kate Washington, and Leslie Williams, on at Joint Parliamentary Committee on the NSW Health Care Complaints Commission, were “breathing down their necks,” or else they might not have found even one! (We’re being sarcastic, of course!)

Goodness knows how Sue Dawson fills in her day!

We keep being reminded of the Albert Einstein saying.

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Deaths from the Coronavirus 2

From the Sydney Morning Herald on 23 Apr. 2020 – showing 16 new cases in 2 days, (7 in NSW,) and 4 new deaths, (3 in NSW.)

The Sydney Morning Herald has been producing information and graphs each day on the coronavirus – these appeared just an hour or two ago, on 21 Apr. 2020.

Someone has suggested that if there are more people recovering from it each day than are contracting it, which may already be happening, that Australia could be free from it in the foreseeable future, which hopefully makes sense.

And, interestingly, these figures indicate that for every person who’s dying from it, more than 91 are recovering from it.

Let’s hope the Sydney Morning Herald is getting it’s facts and figures right.

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