Saturday, December 06, 2008


Red News Readers,

You have to feel sorry for these families caught up in the problems and complexities of the health system. They have the right as taxpayers to expect better from the hospital system and the HCCC. But there is some doubt whether the under-resourced HCCC can cope with the caseload that is now coming its way. There was a temporary increase in funding after Campbelltown Camden but now it is back to business as usual. If governments want the health system and the HCCC to do better, governments need to do better in supporting these services so they can do their job efficiently.

Jenny Haines

Garling inquiry sparks complaints against hospitals

By Kate Sikora, Daily Telegraph

December 05, 2008 12:00am

MORE than 200 complaints against hospitals and doctors will be investigated in the wake of the Garling inquiry into NSW's ailing health system. But some patients and families who fronted the inquiry fear their complaints will come to nothing.

Commissioner Peter Garling handed down the report from the Special Commission of Inquiry into acute care in NSW public hospitals last Thursday. The commission was convened after Sydney woman Jana Horska miscarried in a toilet at Royal North Shore Hospital.

In his report, Mr Garling referred to 213 complaints to the Health Care Complaints Commission for further investigation. However, widow Jacqui Day - whose husband died at Concord Hospital - has little faith in the HCCC providing justice.

"As far as I am concerned the HCCC is a sham," she said.

"To me they don't investigate, they don't press charges against doctors and they protect the doctors."

Emergency rooms facing closure

Mrs Day's husband Andy, a 45-year-old police detective inspector, was being treated for pneumonia but died when his oxygen tube came adrift for the second time in six hours.

After an inquiry behind closed doors, the HCCC found the hospital had provided below standard care to Mr Day, yet the treating doctor was only given counselling.

Like so many hundreds of families who felt they have been "blown off" by the HCCC, Ms Day gave evidence at the Garling inquiry, hoping for a second chance at justice.

"I am disappointed Mr Garling did not make more recommendations about the HCCC," she said.