If doctors and other health care professionals are not prepared to put anything in writing, especially when, these days, emails make it so easy and convenient to do so, as far as we’re concerned, they may as well have up in big red letters somewhere, “I’M NOT PREPARED TO BE ACCOUNTABLE FOR ANYTHING I DO OR SAY.”
And, as far as we’re concerned, doctors who are not prepared to be accountable are to be avoided like the plague.
AND, in our experience, doctors who work in government hospitals, at least under the Berejiklian government, are ALL like this. If any of our readers has ever encountered even one doctor in a government hospital who’s prepared to put anything in writing, we’d LOVE to hear about it. It can be life and death stuff, but they are not prepared to put anything in writing!!!!????
As we’ve mentioned, one of our readers claims to have been given advice, in a 4 or 5 minute face-to-face consultation with Dr Aravinda Thiagalingam, which would seem to be absolute rubbish, almost farcical! Our reader’s story is that, after he’d had such a bad case of dizziness that he’d had an ambulance take him to the hospital, that, after he’d had two sessions carrying out extensive tests on his heart, Dr Thiagalingam announced, almost with pride in his voice, “We’ve found the cause!” And the cause he suggested was that it had been found that his heart paused for 1 second on an average every 12 minutes, and very occasionally, during 24 hours, for 2 seconds!!!!????
Various other opinions have been, firstly, that it was incredibly unlikely that a severe dizziness attack would be related to his heart in any way in the first place, and secondly, even if it was, that it would be caused by pauses in his heart for one or two seconds, was also incredibly unlikely. But, of course, Dr Thiagalingam has refused to put anything in writing, despite a number of requests being made for him to do so, both by email and “snail mail.” Getting second opinions would be so much easier to get if doctors, in such circumstances, provided anything in writing.
One of the things that fascinates us is this. Quite apart from the fact that Dr Thiagalingam has refused to put anything in writing to our reader, and undoubtedly would do the same if any of his relatives and friends asked him to do it, if the CEO of the Westmead Government hospital, where Dr Thiagalingham was seen, emailed him asking him to put his advices in writing, (not that he’d be likely to do it,) Dr Thiagalingham almost certainly wouldn’t do it. (Hopefully he’d get the sack if he did.) And if Health Minister Hazzard emailed Dr Thiagalingham asking him to put his advices in writing, (not that he’d be likely to do it,) he almost certainly wouldn’t do it. And if Health Care Complaints Commissioner Dawson emailed Dr Thiagalingham asking him to put his advices in writing, (not that she’d be likely to do it,) he almost certainly wouldn’t do it. And even if Premier Berejiklian emailed Dr Thiagalingham asking him to put his advices in writing, (not that she’d be likely to do it,) he almost certainly wouldn’t do it. It seems that, in the NSW health care systems, doctors like Dr Thiagalingam are not accountable to anyone about anything.
As we keep saying, the solution to all this is simple, well sort of. Readers, don’t continue to deal with doctors who won’t put anything in writing. Of course, this doesn’t help those who need to go to hospital, and can’t afford to go anywhere other than to a government hospital. And it seems virtually impossible to find GPs who will put anything in writing – at least in Sydney.