More doctors and nurses face investigation
June 2, 2004 - 4:12PM
Five more doctors and 11 nurses will be investigated over inadequate patient care after the Walker inquiry into two Sydney hospitals handed down a second interim report today.
The special commission of inquiry into deaths at Campbelltown and Camden hospitals has already referred 12 doctors to the toughened-up Health Care Complaints Commission (HCCC) and five to the NSW Medical Board after investigations into 48 clinical incidents.
Further investigations into 24 of those incidents has now led to a total of 15 doctors and 11 nurses being referred to the HCCC, with a total of seven doctors to be assessed by the Medical Board.
In addition to the individuals referred for further investigation, two incidents have been referred to the HCCC for investigation, special commissioner Bret Walker, SC, said in his second interim report.
The hospitals have been implicated in the deaths of at least 19 patients as a result of substandard care and mismanagement.
The second interim report also looked into 56 of 67 allegations made by a group of whistleblower nurses.
Of the additional allegations considered so far, practitioners involved in the treatment of 10 patients have today been recommended for investigation by the HCCC.
Eleven incidents are still to be looked at by the inquiry.
The health care professionals referred for further investigation have not been named or stood down from their current roles.
NSW Health Minister Morris Iemma today welcomed Mr Walker's second interim report and said it was acceptable that the medical practitioners had not been stood down pending further investigation.
"They've got to go through the proper process," Mr Iemma told reporters.
However, NSW Opposition leader John Brogden said the report continued to highlight the HCCC's failings in dealing with problems at Camden and Campbelltown.
He said the findings added further weight to opposition calls for a royal commission into the entire health system.