The NSW Health Care Complaints Commission – dealing with 2

Another experience in dealing with this completely and utterly useless organisation which is quite extraordinary!

When someone admitted himself into the Westmead Government hospital with heart problems, he was put on a drip of a medication we’ll call Medication 2, which helped him considerably, to the point that he was discharged the next morning, but before he left he was granted a face-to-face consultation with one of the hospital’s cardiologists, Dr Timothy Tan. Dr Tan confirmed that he should be on Medication 2, perhaps for the rest of his life.

But he didn’t enquire of the patient what medications he was already on???

When the patient realised this, he emailed Dr Tan asking whether he should continue taking medications he was already on, in particular a medication we shall call Medication 1. When he didn’t get a reply he continued taking them both.

But more than 7 months later when he was seeing another cardiologist and this cardiologist enquired what medications he was on, he told the patient he should stop taking Medication 1. And when the patient asked why, the reply he got was, “Because Medications 1 and Medications 2 don’t go together.” Of course the patient was furious, not knowing what damage he could have suffered by being on two medications for more than 7 months that didn’t go together.

So a complaint was made to the Health Care Complaints Commission on two grounds. Firstly, clearly the major one, that Dr Tan should have enquired of the patient what medications he was already on in the face-to face consultation. Secondly, not nearly so significant, that Dr Tan should have replied to the clients’ email.

Within the HCCC, the complaint was handled by a Ms XXX.

She didn’t even address the first part, just told the patient that Dr Tan denied ever receiving the client’s email, of course.

(As we keep saying, if readers send an email to a person or organisation and it hasn’t been at least acknowledged within 14 days, that person or the people in that organisation are almost certainly crooks who will deny ever receiving any emails, no matter how many emails are sent and how many email addresses for them are used – and the worrying part is that there’s very little that can be done about it.)

Ms XXX went on to admonish the patient telling him he’d used the wrong email address – he’d used the email address for him on the prestigious University of Sydney School of Medicine website, tim.tan@sydney.edu.au. (We ourselves have used emails on this website hundreds of times with very few problems.) And she went on say that he should have got Dr Tan’s proper address from AHPRA – the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency.

So AHPRA was contacted, and guess what they said? – that they didn’t have any email addresses in the way Ms XXX had described, and in fact they had no idea what she was talking about.

Ms XXX was contacted about this, but has not responded. No doubt she would deny that she’d got any emails about what AHPRA had said.

What a shambles!

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