Thirty or forty years ago we were given some advice we’ve found extremely useful – that, if you want to know what someone is like, get them to write something down, or get them to take part in a group discussion. Getting them to write things down has never been easier than it is in 2020 – just send them an email. And emails can be used in ways that are nearly the equivalent of getting them to take part in a group discussions.
As we’re always saying, this has SUCH application to finding out what doctors are like – see the following as an illustration this.
One of our readers claims that, because he was experiencing certain problems with his heart, he’d admitted himself into the Westmead Government Hospital, and that before he was discharged the next day, he had a face-to-face consultation with Dr Tan in which Tan recommended that he continue taking a certain medication which the hospital had put him onto, WITHOUT enquiring as to what medication or medications he was already on!!! And that when the reader realised this, he emailed Dr Tan asking if he should continue using a particular medication he was already on, and when he didn’t get a response, he continued on taking both the old and new medications. BUT, 17 months later, when he was seeing another cardiologist, he was told the he should stop taking the old medication, and when he asked why, he was told, “Because the two don’t go together!” Goodness knows what damage he could have suffered in those 17 months?
Our reader says that he fully acknowledges that HE should have asked Tan during the face-t0-face consultation whether he should continue with any old medications but says, in his defence, that, in those days, he didn’t even realise that LAZY AND NEGLIGENT GOOD FOR NOTHINGS like Tan even existed. BUT, that in any case, he realised this a few days later, and sent an email to Tan, expecting that he would respond if anything important was involved, which Tan didn’t even acknowledge, let alone respond to.
So, readers, this is the picture?
(1) In recommending that he continue a new medication the hospital had put him on, Tan, in PURE LAZINESS AND NEGLIGENCE, didn’t even ask his patient what, if anything, he was already on.
(2) Tan then failed to even acknowledge, let alone respond to an email sent to him by the patient a few days later which had given him the opportunity to set things right, with his patient assuming that if there was anything important to be said that he wouldn’t be so LAZY AND NEGLIGENT as to not even acknowledge the email.
(3) As a consequence the patient was on two mediations which “didn’t go together,” for 17 months.
This led to our reader making a complaint to the NSW Health Care Complaints Commission, and although we are always warning readers that this Commission is completely and utterly useless, that Sue Dawson and her people there are pure geniuses at coming up with excuses for Doctors that become the basis for complaints against them being dismissed, our guess would be that none of our readers would guess, in a hundred years, what excuse they would come up with this time.
Here it is readers! The Commission’s response was that reader was to blame, in that he’d relied on Tan’s advice!!!???when Tan had specifically told him NOT to rely on his advice, but to seek the advice of others as soon as he possibly could.
The reader claims, of course, that this is a lie – that if Tan had told him this, he would have done it. And would, of course, have thought that Tan was stark raving mad – a doctor telling his patient to take absolutely no notice of what he was telling him!!!
So it becomes a question as to who made up the lie? Did Tan make it up, and when he passed it on to the HCCC, they were naive enough to believe it? Or did the completely and utterly useless HCCC make it up, as the basis for telling the reader he had nothing to complain about.
As to the complaint about Tan not responding to his patient’s email, which, of course was sent using the email address on his practice’s website and the one on the University of Sydney’s website, without actually denying that Tan got it, typically, the HCCC came up with some gobbledegook which, in their mind at least, meant that our reader didn’t have a basis for complaint.
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