The NSW Department of Health in Australia has said that many cancer patients might have been misdiagnosed some five years ago. It is reported that 7,500 medical samples analyzed in a Tamworth laboratory are involve in this case of wrong diagnosis.
An overseas-trained doctor was thought to have wrongly diagnosed the samples leading to some patients receiving unnecessary chemotherapy and some patients being denied potentially life-saving treatment. The tests were carried out between November 1999 and December 2001. Hunter New England Health said that it was not aware of what procedure to follow and has sought advice. "It's mainly pathology specimens that are taken during major and minor operations. It doesn't include blood tests, bone marrow tests, urine tests," said Chief executive of Hunter New England Health, Terry Clout. State health minister John Hatzistergos has expressed regrets about the whole situation, "I do sincerely regret any distress that has been caused to any person as a result of the actions that have been taken," he said. But state member for Tamworth Peter Draper says it is the fault of the bureaucracy. "I don't believe the bureaucrats who seem intent on covering their backsides should jeopardize people's health," Draper said.