What rural health inquiry didn’t want you to know


The NSW Parliament Legislative Council inquiry into “Health and Hospital Services in Rural, Regional and Remote New South Wales” wrapped up today deemed another whitewash.

It believed hook line and sinker the spin coming from the NSW Ministry of Health.

It redacted submissions to render them senseless.  It demonstrated early on it was not going to look into anything unpalatable.  Clearly, it didn’t want to upset its political counterparts in the regions.

This is one piece of a collection that was generated from the Hunter New England Local Health District, namely John Hunter Hospital, Newcastle.  It’s immoral, indecent and unforgivable.  But the above-mentioned committee of inquiry wanted it to remain hidden:




Another non-inquiry wraps up

SYDNEY — NSW Health apologises for rural healthcare.

Apologies, apologies, apologies — all hollow and so repetitive.  What do apologies do?  What have apologies done?  Condition us into substandard acceptance?  What about fixing our health system instead of apologising ad infinitum for its maladministration and cover-ups?

The NSW Parliament Legislative Council inquiry into “Health and Hospital Services in Rural Regional and Remote NSW” closed today.

The committee opened the inquiry with NSW Ministry of Health’s No 1 apologist mouthpiece deputy secretary Dr Nigel Lyons and saw fit to close the inquiry today giving the same mouthpiece another go.

Dr Lyons says the “evidence had been very difficult to listen to”.  Is he kidding? What does Dr Lyons think the Medical Error Action Group receives each day on our hospital system?  That everything is hunky-dory?  He is kidding.

If MEAG knows what is going on in hospitals, then the NSW Ministry of Health knows a heck of a lot more and its screw-ups demand more than another apology.

Dr Lyons did not get to hear the truth publicly because the Committee didn’t want to receive it, hear it or deal with it, judging by the heavy redactions of most submissions.

Regrettably Dr Lyons remains misinformed because he cannot check facts.  The Committee didn’t do its homework to enable to challenge Dr Lyons’ misinformation at the beginning of the inquiry.

MEAG investigated two particular cases where the hospitals ran out of Panadol and reports of such are verified in the very medical records contained by NSW Health.  These hospitals were Dubbo and Tamworth.  This is an example of Australia’s world class health system.

The Committee lacked courage to ask pertinent questions and didn’t want to hear unpalatable truths.  Committee members — all on a handsome sitting inquiry bonus — didn’t want to venture into ‘troubled waters of the whys, the wherefores, the hows’ as that would require listening to people who know the truth and facts.

The outcome of this inquiry is normalisation of malfeasant health administration as the standard. 

“Regrettable patient experiences and outcomes” indeed. 

Blunder after blunder to end the year on

Sydney’s COVID testing in turmoil as SydPath confirms nearly 500 COVID-positive Sydneysiders were told they were negative in SMS

Nearly 500 more people have wrongly been told their COVID-19 test result was negative in another error by a Sydney testing lab.

On Tuesday afternoon SydPath, the facility that operates pathology services at St Vincent’s Hospital Sydney, issued a statement to confirm that 486 of an additional 950 people who had been sent a text message “prematurely” had been validated as COVID-positive.

The SMS told all 950 recipients they were negative for the virus when, in fact, 486 were positive.

Sydney COVID testing bungles

Tuesday’s announcement was the third in a series of blunders from the Sydney pathology company in as many days.

On Sunday, SydPath confirmed that more than 400 people who initially received a negative result on Christmas Day were notified on Boxing Day they had actually tested positive.

“SydPath last night incorrectly messaged more than 400 people, advising them they had tested negative to COVID,” the statement read.

“These people had tested positive to COVID.”

The Sydney pathology company on Monday then owned up to a second massive blunder, this time saying almost 1000 people were told they were COVID-19 negative when in fact their results hadn’t been returned yet.

The incidents were a result of human error at a time of unprecedented pressure, they said.

“SydPath have put procedures in place to ensure this cannot happen again.”

MEAG COMMENT:  How many times has the above line been uttered?  Private laboratories taking on more than they can cope with.  It’s called corporate greed.  Maladministration in the extreme.


 Sydney COVID testing bungle escalates after another 500 COVID-positive bungle

Tube incorrectly placed kills 19mths old girl


A coronial inquest has found the death of a 19-month-old girl at Port Macquarie Base Hospital after an incident during surgery in February 2019 could have been prevented.

The Coroner Derek Lee said anaesthetic team missed a “constellation of signs” that the intubation was incorrectly placed in the oesophagus.

Coroner Lee said there were a number of signs indicating the ETT had been place incorrectly, but staff failed to recognise them.  The oesophageal intubation [incorrectly placed ETT] resulted in sudden deterioration of the girl’s condition,” he said.

“Her heart rate and oxygen saturations decreased to precariously low levels and she went into cardiac arrest.  Despite resuscitation efforts, she could not be revived and was tragically pronounced deceased, only 10 hours after arriving at the wildlife park.”

Port Macquarie Base Hospital is part of the Mid North Coast Local Health District which has apologised to the victim’s family.

Mid North Coast Local Health District Chief Executive Stewart Dowrick said since the incident, appropriate measures have been put in place at Port Macquarie Base Hospital to help prevent another tragedy of this kind.

Read more of ABC Keely Johnson’s report:

MEAG COMMENT:  One would think these ‘appropriate measures’ were already in place.  Why weren’t they?  It was a hospital after all.  Who wants apologies?  Patients want competent staff 100% 24/7.  Another unnecessary tragedy in Australia’s all too many hospital tragedies.  

Vale Eddie Jaku OAM 1920-2021


Vale Eddie Jaku OAM.  At 101½ years he has sadly passed away.

We honour you Eddie.  Great friend of MEAG … a wonderful person to know.

Cherished friend of Lorraine Long for some 36 years.  Thank you for your kindness, joy, generosity, spirit and wisdom.

Eddie Jaku, Medal of the Order of Australia, 2013 Australia Day Honours.

You’ve got to read his book “The Happiest Man on Earth”.  Eddie was a best selling author at 100 years of age!



CCTV in operating theatres to foil rogue surgeons

South Korea is forcing surgeons to film their operations to prevent the sexual abuse of patients under anaesthetic and procedures being carried out by unqualified “ghost doctors”.

It follows cases in which patients suffered injury or died in some of the country’s numerous and poorly regulated cosmetic clinics when surgeons allowed inexperienced or unqualified colleagues to perform operations in their place.  South Korea is the first developed country to impose a legal requirement on doctors to film procedures after parliament passed a law this week.

“It is a medical crime when someone else — ‘a ghost’ — performs the surgery, and not the surgeon hired, without [the] patient’s consent,” Lee Na-geum, whose son died in 2016, said.  “There are so many unfortunate bereaved families who cannot expose the truth because they don’t have physical evidence when a healthy person dies in an operating room.”  Her son, Kwon Dae-hee, a 24-year-old student, died after seven weeks in a coma following botched cosmetic surgery on his jaw at a clinic in Seoul.

CCTV obtained by Lee showed that although the doctor for whom he was paying began the operation, it was completed by a non-specialist who had only recently left medical school.

Her son began to haemorrhage as indifferent nurses applied make-up and looked at their phones.  The head surgeon at the clinic, which has since closed, was convicted of involuntary manslaughter and jailed for three years.

Kwon’s family were awarded damages of 430 million Korean won (£270,000) in 2019.  Lee said: “I think many youngsters are still victimised by ghost surgeries at factory-like plastic surgery hospitals.”

The law was opposed by some doctors who feared it would compromise privacy and discourage specialists from making decisions in the interests of their patients.  Others believe cameras will prevent abuse, including sexual assault.

SOURCE:  Richard Lloyd Parry, Asia Editor, The Times London

CCTV in operating theatres aims to foil rogue surgeons

MEAG COMMENT:  We have pushed for this for many years — written about it, spoken about it.  

Honouring June Long 1924-1994

Today we honour June Long and remember her iatrogenic death for it is the reason The June Long Foundation for Patient Safety and the fearless         Medical Error Action Group were founded on 16 August 1996.

June Long, sportswoman, medical, veterinary and vaccine researcher, loving mother, we honour and remember you.





Lord Kenneth Clarke shows contempt at Infected Blood Inquiry

LONDON — Lord Kenneth CLARKE, who was a Thatcher Government Conservative Minister of State for Health (1982-85), Secretary of State for Health (1988-90), was in the witness box at the Infected Blood Inquiry yesterday.

Ken CLARKE has been criticised by families affected by the infected blood inquiry for displaying “contempt” in his evidence after he showed a reluctance to answer questions.

Lord Clarke appeared to become irritated with the level of detail being examined by the lead counsel, Jenni Richards QC.

At one point, he asked: “Why do we have to go through such meticulous detail through who said what when, when did he change his mind?”  He added that it was “interesting” but “pretty pointless”.

Earlier he said he was not responsible for blood products during the early days of the infected blood scandal despite being a health minister at the time.  He said he was dealing with policies such as closing “old Victorian asylums” or getting rid of “old geriatric hospitals”.

“I didn’t call meetings on it.  I was never the minister directly responsible for blood products. I was never asked to take a decision on blood products.  I never intervened to take a decision on blood products.  I did intervene or get involved in discussions a bit when I wanted to be reassured.”

Judge Sir Brian Langstaff is running this inquiry and determines the questioning, not Lord Clarke!

Read more of Sarah Marsh’s story in The Guardian:

Ken Clarke criticised for showing ‘contempt’ at infected blood inquiry

Let all politicians’ heads roll for their dereliction of duty.

Australia’s politicians?  You’re next.

Wuhan China: The infinite error


The school where dozens of pupils died

LONDON — CONTAMINATED BLOOD INQUIRY UK — Not a day goes by without the horrors of contaminated blood being revealed.

Treloar College, Hampshire, school for children with a disability, were caught up in what has been called the worst treatment disaster in NHS history.

From 1974 to 1987, young boys with haemophilia were given Factor VIII contaminated with HIV and viral HEPATITIS C – and a death sentence with it.

At least 72 died after being given a drug contaminated with it.

The “official cover-up” by the British Government!  It is the “unofficial cover-up” in Australia.

30,000 British received contaminated blood, 3,000 died.  These are the figures being revealed now.

Politicians involved in the cover-up are unfolding.  Australia’s turn is coming.

In Australia MEAG knows of 20,000 patients who were contaminated and about the same number died.  But our government could not care less.

Read more from the BBC News Jim Reed’s story:

Contaminated blood inquiry: The school where dozens of pupils died.

Read more from The Sunday Times Caroline Wheeler’s story:

‘We told them the truth: the boys were infected, some would die early’