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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Email addresses on the University of Sydney’s website – do they work?

With lots of NSW doctors, if you Google their name, one of the results that come up is like this.

And, if you click on results like this, a page comes up which has on it an ordinary email address, like so.

How likely is it that emails sent using ordinary email addresses like these are actually received by the addressees? In the past we’ve contacted the University to clarify this, and the answers we’ve got haven’t exactly been clear cut.

Over the years, we’ve found that if we haven’t even received an acknowledgement of an email sent using an ordinary email address on a doctor’s own website, (or other people’s own website, for that matter,) within 14 days that ALMOST CERTAINLY the recipient is a crook or, at least, incredibly slack, and that it’s a CERTAINTY that, if need be,  they’ll say that they’re prepared to swear on a stack of Bibles that they never received it.

Dr Brooks is an interesting example. We’ve related before how, to avoid getting into trouble with the NSW Privacy Commissioner for not responding to emailed requests for copies of documents  which he was required to provide by law, he claimed that the ordinary email address on his website was set up so that it “weeded out” emails from patients so that he didn’t receive them. (Accepted by the Privacy Commissioner as a reasonable excuse, of course!) Over the years we’re aware of at least 30 emails being sent to him, and he’s responded to only one, with details on how to pay him his $3,200 fee for less than un hour’s work, which, of course, he wouldn’t have received if his claims about how the email address on his website was set up were true.

And all of these emails were also sent to the address on the University of Sydney website as shown above. So did he get them?

Today we’ve sent a couple of emails to the University of Sydney using email addresses that we knew were no longer current, and we’ve got responses like the one shown below – the implication, of course, being that, if an address was used that was still current, that it WOULD have been delivered.

Of course, if emails are sent using email addresses that are shown on the university’s website and it’s never indicated that they haven’t been delivered, and they aren’t delivered, it would be disappointing, to say the least – in fact, we would think it would be outrageous!!!

And, of course, if you use email addresses on doctors’ own websites you should know for sure that they worked. In this regard, Brooks has taken the ordinary email address that used to be on his website down, but it could still be used if you knew what it was, but now emails sent using to it are returned – so all you can use to contact him is a fax number, so primitive and last Century, and the address on the University of Sydney’s website, which, he simply refuses to acknowledge he’s received.

To us it’s so obvious that it’s better to use doctors who have ordinary email addresses you can use to communicate with them if necessary, and, other things being equal, it’s complete and utter madness to use doctors like Brooks.

We will continue our investigations!

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Modafinil, providing Mental Energy 7

One of our readers, who’s in his mid-80s, says he couldn’t live without the mental energy Modafinil gives him. He says that with mental energy, he feels like doing things – without it, he mainly sits or lies around doing nothing, and that as he gets older every hour that he fells like doing things is precious, as he has fewer and fewer of them.

Yet so few doctors seem to recommend it.

In particular he saw a Geriatician once, (Geriatricians specialise in helping the over 65s,) who, when he asked her about Modafinil, just dismissed it, saying, “Oh that’s for people who nod off,” when our reader says he’s never nodded off in his life.

He says he believes that it’s almost criminal that doctors are not suggesting to all but perhaps the very youngest of their patients that they give it a try – for even quite young patients, there may be times when they need extra mental energy. But to not be suggesting to older patients is a disgrace.

One thing he says, one has to be careful with it as the extra mental energy it gives you during the day can cause it to be harder for you to go to sleep at night, although this may not happen to younger people. And he says he’s found that you can’t take a full tablet every day – for years he took a full tablet every second day. But lately he’s settled on taking a half tablet every day, with a mild sleeping tablet at night. It’s a matter of what best suits each individual.

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People who derive some income by answering our questions 2

Further to this previous post on this subject, we think that most of the answers we’re looking for are no longer than what would fit onto an A4 page, with links, perhaps lots of links.

We’ve been reminded recently of one of Albert Einstein’s sayings – “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it yourself.”

(One of the Einstein stories we find so funny is that he didn’t wear socks – because it’s said that he said that putting socks on and taking them off reduced his time for thinking.)

In fact, to us, that’s the biggest need – for people who can reduce subjects to what will it on an A4 page – tell us about Low Dose Naltrexone? what is the best Plugin for us to use to provide me with statistics on my blogs and websites? what are the symptoms that may indicate that I’m getting cancer? what are the best means of dealing with impotence? and so on and so, with the proviso that we can always come back with questions on anything that requires elucidation.

Answers that go on and on and on are usually quite easy to find.

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People who derive some income by answering our questions 1

To us, the hunt is on for people who earn some income, (it can be very much a sideline,) by answering our questionsabout anything, but particularly about looking after our health and technology. With modern technology, such people can be anywhere in the world. Do any of our readers know of any?

We are SO annoyed and SO frustrated that we don’t really know of many or any. Our work and personal lives could be so much better if we did. So often we feel held back by not knowing answers to questions we have that such people could provide, almost certainly, so easily.

One of the things that interests us is that with a lot of our questions, the people we may ask can hardly believe that we don’t already know the answer ourselves, to them it’s so obvious. Peter Drucker the famous management writer used to say that the things we know best we think everyone knows – in other words Don Bradman thought everyone knew how to bat, couldn’t believe that they didn’t! And this makes anyone who is like that not very good at answering questions. To be able to answer questions well, people being asked questions have to be able to fully empathise with people, to fully see things from the point of view of those asking the questions.

Our idea is that such people have an ordinary email address which we can use to seek answers to our questions, and that when we do, we get an answer to our first question and details of their charge for providing it, which we don’t have to pay, but if and when we seek an answer to a second question, we have to pay for the first question before they answer the second.

On the face of it, may meet any needs we might have for such people, but there seem to be two problems with them – although to be fair, we haven’t tried to use them for some time. Some of our readers may have different ideas.

Firstly, as a first step to getting any answers from JustAnswer, we have to pay five dollars up front, and it seems that the only way you can pay this five dollars is with a credit card, and stories abound on the internet of  them using any credit card details that have been provided to take money to which they’re not entitled, and once they’ve taken money in this way, there’s no way to get it back.

Secondly, when we seek an answer, there’s no way in which we can choose the person who answers it, JustAnswer decides that for us. Whereas, if we’ve used JustAnswer to find a person for us in the past, we may want to use them again or we may want to not use them again, but, as we understand it, with JustAnswer we’ve got no control over this.

To us, it’s incredibly easy for anyone who has an area of expertise to start off – (1) they probably need a small blog or a website that describes their area of expertise and perhaps provide the bits and pieces of information for which they would have to choose a name, (2) would certainly have to have an ordinary email address, both of which school children can set up these days, and which cost virtually cost nothing to set up and maintain – and they’re in business, waiting for people to ask questions, which may or may not happen.

(We’ve recently become aware of, which is supposed to help in finding the best name or names for blogs and websites – we haven’t tried it ourselves.)

To us, the extent to which such people exist, the world will become a very different place.

To, it’s ironical that the best people and almost the only people we know of  like this are the people at Tiger Technologies– and answering peoples’ questions is not even their business, it’s hosting blogs and website and so on. One of our readers says that whenever he has a technology question the first thing he does is use their support email to ask it – not that they can always answers his questions, but recently he got an answer from them which enabled him to solve a problem in 2 minutes which hadn’t been solved in 25 minutes with one of the geniuses??? at an Apple Genius Bar, which he says is typical. And, of course, as someone who uses them for hosting, getting answers from them costs him nothing.

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“Whatever technology enables happens”

As we’ve mentioned many times, we read some time ago that, “Whatever technology enables happens,” and how much it’s always impressed us, especially as technology has been and is enabling more and more, almost every day. But lately it seems that hardly anything is happening, to the point when we’re beginning to feel that this statement may not be nearly as true as we might have wished.

To us, the scope for us to be getting help and information to enable us to live our lives more successfully, especially in relation to our health and technology, is almost infinite. Yet it’s just not happening as much as we may have expected or hoped.!

In relation to this, websites like had us completely mystified.

So we we used their email form to enquire of them, “Do you have any articles on the symptoms that indicate that I may be getting cancer?” and while we may have been hoping that we’d get a response along the lines of, “Sure! If you ever have any questions like this, just use our ordinary address to ask them,” we consider that what we got back, shown below, was/is the next best thing, which has us quite impressed.

In other words, simply go to our Website, and click on our “Health A-Z,” or use our “Search” facility, which is located in the top right hand corner of our home page?

As we’ve said, we’ve been quite impressed with this response, but so far haven’t had the time to much checking of how good their information is. We’d love to hear from readers as to how they’re getting on if they’ve been doing this.

One thing is for sure, and that is that the availability of help and information on looking after our health is going to get more and more sophisticated.

And another thing that’s for sure is that whenever we need help and/or information on a health care topic, the first thing we will be doing in the future is go to WebMDs “Health A-Z“, at least until we become aware of something better.

(An aspect of this is that keeping copies of their daily emails seems to no longer have any point.)

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Doctors offering responses to claims/complaints by patients?

With Dr Andrew Brooks, Urologist, we’ve had 4 different people phoning us at various times complaining about the fact that claims made by a reader about how he went in being treated by Brooks are appearing on the internet, each saying saying that “it’s affecting his practice,” (it’s made us feel that we’re doing some good after all,) when all we’ve ever done is publish these claims, expecting, of course, that Brooks would feel some obligation to respond to them, in relation to which he was given every opportunity. Each of these 4 people have said various things about how we need to take these things down, accompanied, of course, by vague threats, and how we owe Brooks apologies and so on and so on!!!!!?????

To us, these phone calls have been quite bizarre, in fact, extraordinarily so – if anyone has owed apologies to anyone, it’s Brooks to his patient. But no, the mentality of the Brooks of this world is that such patients owe him an apology, without him feeling any obligation whatever to provide any responses to their claims, in Brooks’ case, at least, very serious claims.

It’s been exactly the same with Dr Kerrie Meades, Ophthalmologist, and Dr Chris Grant, GP, although in each of their cases, we have been phone by only one of their henchmen.

We can’t help feeling what really strange mentalities these people have.

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Doctors being accountable

To us, the people and organisations that are the most likely to be accountable for what they do and say are those that are prepared to put things in writing.

If things are in writing, (a) it lessens the chance of miscommunication, (b) it makes it easier to get second opinions on what is said – if they are not in writing, this can be difficult, if not impossible, (c) it makes it easy to let others know what they are like – as we’re always saying, “By their emails ye shall know them.” And as we say, it makes those who put things in writing accountable for what they do and say.

And, of course, these days the easiest way to put things in writing is to do it with emails, and the easiest way for people and organisations to invite people to put things in writing is to provide ordinary email addresses – and this applies as much as anything to doctors. So, to us:-

The best people and organisations to deal with are those that have ordinary email addresses and who provide high quality responses when these ordinary email addresses are used to seek help and information.

The next best are those that have email forms, and who provide high quality responses when these ordinary email forms are used to seek help and information, and these responses are provided using ordinary email addresses that can be used in the future.

The next best are those who have email forms, and who provide high quality responses when these ordinary email forms are used to seek help and information, and these responses are provided with ordinary email addresses that CAN’T be used in the future – you have to use the email forms again if you want to seek any further help and information. Most annoying!

The next best just have fax numbers, (so last century!) or perhaps even just phone numbers. You have to scramble around to find something that works.

The worst don’t even acknowledge requests for help and information no matter which way they are sent!

To us, realising this is exciting – it has so many applications, it makes it so much easier to decide which are the best to deal with and which may not be the best.

Of course, this is all about competition. It’s no use us wanting the best to deal with if there are none like that. As an example, in Sydney at least, it seems virtually impossible, if not completely impossible, to find GPs who have ordinary email addresses, and who provide high quality responses to requests for help and information using these email addresses. And to an extent, it’s like this with Specialists, although much less so.

And with doctors in NSW Health hospitals, it seems virtually impossible to find any who have ordinary email addresses, let alone those who have ordinary email addresses, and when they are used to seek help and information, high quality responses are received. In fact, it wouldn’t surprise us if, to encourage doctors to come and work in NSW Health hospitals, (and, in fact, doctors in private hospitals, like Ramsay Health Care hospitals as well,) that they are told, “Come and work for us, and you’ll never have to provide a response to email in your whole life.”

It’s going to be interesting to see how this all works out – providing high quality responses to requests for help and information involves employing high quality people, and high quality people don’t come cheaply, and it’s natural for people and organisations to try and be successful without this expense – and perhaps we, the people, will let them.

It’s ironical – in our searching over the last 12 years for the best doctors, one of our readers claims to come across a Cardiologist who seems highly qualified and exceptionally busy, but who has an ordinary email address and who seems to find the time to provide high quality responses to emails sent to him, which he’s done for our reader on 3 occasions, for which he absolutely refuses payment! We daren’t disclose his identity in case doctors in general and medical organisations generally come down on him like a ton of bricks for doing this.

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Deaths from the Coronavirus 1

Wikipedia has been producing daily lists of the deaths of people described as “notable individuals” for many years, with their ages and cause of death, if available. Their lists for 2020 can be accessed by using this link.

Some idea of the seriousness of the spread of the Coronavirus can be derived from the fact that it’s shown as the cause of more and more of the deaths listed.

For instance, there are 27 on the 23 Mar. 2020 list, 10 of them shown as caused by the virus i.e. 37% – shown as aged 63, 89, 75, 75, 87, 30, 91, 93, 84 and 50.

Obviously the ages shown for those affected by it could be skewed by the fact that many of the younger ones who’d died from it may not yet have reached the “notable individual” status.

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