Monday, March 22, 2010

Been out of touch a bit but up to good works

Call for Royal Commission into the Health Care Complaints system following death of Port Macquarie man caused by Sydney's Royal North Shore Hospital

Statement issued by Therese Mackay, widow of Port Macquarie resident Don Mackay

This morning I will be meeting with Andrew Constance, Shadow Minister for Disability Services, to ask that he and Shadow Health Minister Jillian Skinner press for a Royal Commission into the behaviour and activities of the NSW Health Care Complaints Commission.

The HCCC long ago ceased to act in the interests of those thousands of patients injured or killed inside the NSW hospital and health system. The HCCC is no longer accountable to the people of NSW, and its investigative bias has allowed those medical staff who have acted negligently and caused injury and death to the citizens of NSW to also be unaccountable. This situation has worsened since Labor took office in 1995.

The HCCC bent over backwards to ensure no one was held accountable for my husband Don’s degradation and death at the hands of RNSH doctors in April/May 2007. The Coroner’s office stated: “It is most unlikely that the deceased’s rapid, but lengthy, deterioration would have commenced when it did but for the patient undergoing the various transfers and treatment.” But that is as far as the Coroner went – there was no hearing, no inquest.

Yet the HCCC claimed my husband’s treatment was "acceptable". HCCC officers even brushed aside the admissions of errors and mistakes made by the hospital itself. In a breach of my husband’s human rights and outrageous disability discrimination, these "investigators" said that when my husband had his lungs accidentally suctioned at 10 times the required amount for 22 hours, this “would not have caused him significant pain because he was a quadriplegic” - yet the opposite was the case, as my husband was hypersensitive to internal organ pain. I was left gagging when I read this, because I watched as he suffered horribly. Along with a Royal Commission into the HCCC, I am also seeking a full inquiry into my husband's death.

I would like to see the HCCC disbanded and replaced with an office inside NSW Police specialising in medically caused injury and death and with the powers to prosecute within our legal system. For too long, those thousands of us who have watched relatives suffer and die because of medical negligence have been left without justice. We suffer as much as those who are the relatives of victims of unsolved homicide, without any effective official representation. It is vital that those who have dealt with the HCCC, who have had relatives killed or injured inside the NSW health care system, are able to have their voices heard and that justice be served. Every year thousands of complaints are received by the HCCC but very few if any result in medical staff being called to account, even -as with my husband - in the most grossly negligent of cases.

Lorraine Long of the Medical Victims Error Action Group, who bought the so-called Butcher of Bega to the attention of the media, tells me the Group has a data base of thousands of incidents of medical negligence and/or error that have never been properly investigated, and she is also calling for a Royal Commission into the HCCC.

23 March 2010

I did have the whole complaint in here below but it was way too long and had a lot of glitches in it.


Sling said...

I truly admire your dedication,and tenacity in seeking some measure of justice for Don.
I expect the time will come when many,many families will owe you a debt of gratitude.

Middle Child said...

Thanks Sling - It does me no harm to continue - people are odd they assume that if you continue to fight for the right will somehow be harmed by it mentally - in a sane world one would assume the opposite - its no my whole life nor an obsession - its just the right thing to do - Truly -and this is sincere - if just one poor bloody person is saved from the experience Don was forced to endure - it will have bee all worth it.