This almost makes us laugh.
We’ve written extensively about how the performance of the NSW Health Care Complaints Commission under Commissioner Sue Dawson comes over as atrocious – Commissioner Dawson and her people are pure geniuses as making excuses for doctors who are complained about.
And one of the examples we’ve given is of a gentleman who, having spent a night in a NSW government hospital during which he was put onto a new medication, was advised in a face-to-face consultation with a hospital doctor before he was discharged the next morning to continue with the new medication without it being checked what medication or medications he was already on, and that after he’d emailed the doctor about this and not got a response, he’d carried on with taking both an old medication and the new medication, only to be told 17 months later that he should stop taking the old medication as the old medication and the new medication “didn’t go together.” He was SO angry as he had no idea what damage may hav been done to him in those 17 months!
By the way, it’s no use complaining to Dawson and her people that a doctor hasn’t responded to an email, the doctor will ALWAYS deny that he or she got it, and Dawson and her people will ALWAYS side with the doctor. In another classical experience with them, when a doctor denied that he’d received an email from one of our readers, after he’d used an email address he’d got from a respected website, one of Dawson’s officers said that she believed the doctor when he said that he hadn’t received the email, and and advised the reader that he should have used an email address available from the Australian Health Practitioners Regulation Agency, AHPRA. But when AHPRA was emailed about this, (and dealing with AHPRA is a nightmare at the best of times,) they replied that they didn’t have an email address for the doctor concerned, and, in fact, had no idea what the HCCC officer was talking about!!! And when we sent emails to the HCCC officer about this, with copies to Dawson, the emails weren’t even acknowledged. Of course!!!
(These days, if we’ve sent an email to a person or an organisation, and it hasn’t even been acknowledged after 14 days, we treat the people involved as “crooks” from there on, who, if need be, will ALWAYS deny that they got it. As far as we’re concerned, the good guys, if they haven’t got emails for a few days, will send themselves an email to see if the address is working, and if it isn’t, will have it fixed or taken it down.)
And what was the HCCC’s response to the complaint we’ve described above – it was along the lines of, “Oh, you’ve got no basis at all to complain about this doctor. He says that he clearly told you not to take the slightest notice of what he’d said, that when you got out of the hospital you should have hotfooted it as fast as you could to see others, and get proper opinions from others. It’s all YOUR fault. You were stark raving mad not do as he told you.”
What makes us almost laugh is that this is possibly the best advice one could ever get – that when you’ve had a face-to-face consultation with a hospital doctor in one of the NSW government hospitals, at least while the Berejiklian Government is power, you should not take the slightest notice of what you’ve been told, as soon as you possibly can you should go to others, and get their advice and take it – in fact you’re stark raving mad if you don’t.
(By the way, as we’re always saying, there are always two entirely separate matters – how things are, and what if anything is done about it. There is an incredible amount of evidence as to what the HCCC is like – and if you want some more, you can always make a complaint to them about a health professional and see how you get on. But, as far as we’re concerned, there has never been any indication for as long as we can remember from any NSW government that anything is ever going to be done about it.
One of our reader claims that nearly 10 years ago he made a complaint about the ophthalmologist, Kerry Meades, how he’d spent 3 or 4 hours in her rooms with her and others seeking help with his double vision, and he’d not learnt even the most basic things about it. And, in her response, Meades had told lie after lie after lie, including that the reader was a difficult patient to treat as he’d “refused to have a cataract operation as was clinically indicated.” And our reader has recently reported that in the last month he’s seen a proper ophthalmologist who’s told him that he still doesn’t need anything done to do with cataracts.)
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