If we are to believe one of our readers, the Dr Andrew Brooks story is very simple. He was referred to Dr Brooks because he was waking up frequently at night having to urinate – said to be a common problem amongst older men – and Dr Brooks pitched him the story that his enlarged prostate gland, (which he had,) was the problem and that if he had a TURP operation, which he advocated, he would be able to urinate much more easily, and his bladder, which had become smaller in capacity because it had become more muscular from all the straining he had had to do to urinate over the years, would gradually become larger in capacity, and all his problems would be over. So:-
- After Dr Brook’s nurse had carried out tests on him for a little less than and hour, which cost him $600 – about $400 back from Medicare.
- He had the TURP operation, an operation that takes less than an hour, for which Dr Brooks charged $3,200 – about $800 back from Medicare.
- He’d paid out $3,500 for two days in a private hospital, after Dr Brooks told him that there was a 12 months waiting list to have the operation in a NSW Health hospital – something that he hasn’t been able to check, not that he’s tried that hard.
AND NOTHING HAS REALLY CHANGED! – certainly he’s waking up just as often, and certainly he has to strain just the same to urinate, and certainly there are no signs that the capacity of his bladder is increasing.
He’s had a couple of consultations with Dr Brooks since – Dr Brooks’ standard consultation seems be one which costs $120 and lasts for about 5-6 minutes – and all he’s said over and over again is, “Give it time. Give it time.” But it’s six months since his operation. And he’s prescribed some medication that hasn’t helped, just made things worse.
He has sent Dr Brooks some emails expressing concerns about all this. All that’s happened is he got back a response, not from Dr Brooks, but from one of his receptionists, (who he says is perhaps the worst doctor’s assistant he has ever dealt with,) which includes, “Email is not a form of communication that is practiced at Western Urology.”
We are always saying that the health professionals you should give preference to are those who, (1) have an ordinary email address readily available and who, (2) email reasonable replies to reasonable emails sent to them.
The irony is that Dr Brooks has an email address that is readily available on his website????? His assistant said this was for “business,” not for patients, whatever this means.
We are telling our reader that he should have sent Dr Brooks an email about something, anything, BEFORE he saw him, and he would have been stark raving mad to consult and use him if he didn’t get some sort of response. WHEN WILL PEOPLE LEARN?
A 28 Jan 2015 update: A new email sent to Dr Brooks.
The above reminds us of what a GP said to one of us about surgeons once – “If they can’t see something they can cut, they’re buggered.”
A 22 Mar 2015 update: A new email sent to Dr Brooks.