Call For Online ‘Report Cards’ For Doctors

by Thilaka Ravi on  April 25, 2008 at 4:54 PM Medico Legal News
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Call For Online ‘Report Cards’ For Doctors
The State Government should publish online "report cards" for doctors so that the public can judge their medical competency, demands Leesa MacLeod, whose mother died after an obesity operation in 2003.

Ms MacLeod said yesterday her mother, who was 57, would most certainly not have allowed Gold Coast surgeon Russell Broadbent to operate on her, had she known his medical skills were questionable.

Ms MacLeod's mother Ursula died after having a biliary pancreatic diversion - a medical treatment that involves a radical reduction of the stomach and small intestine.

Dr Broadbent faces suspension, maybe even deregistration, for his alleged incompetent surgical and post-operative treatment on a minimum of 11 patients.

Court documents reveal that six of Dr Broadbent's former patients who had radical surgery to combat obesity suffered severe complications. Three of the six patients died subsequently.

The Medical Board of Queensland was granted permission in the Health Practitioners Tribunal yesterday to refer the names of two more patients to the tribunal for investigation after receiving an expert opinion into their treatment.

Five other former patients of Dr Broadbent have alleged they received surgical procedures that resulted in complications. The board is looking into their complaints.

One of those patients has successfully sued Dr Broadbent and received $650,000 in damages in an out-of-court settlement.

All of Dr Broadbent's operations that have come under fire took place between 2000 and 2007 in the Allamanda and Pindara private hospitals on the Gold Coast.

The Medical Board of Queensland alleges that Dr Broadbent failed to manage and treat Mrs. Ursula MacLeod's fluid intake and renal function after the operation.

The board also adds that he failed to investigate Mrs. Macleod's persistent vomiting, diarrhea and rectal bleeding and that he failed to start treatment for septicemia in a timely manner.

In the board's opinion the doctor failed to refer Mrs. MacLeod to other specialists to get another opinion with regard to the investigation of her deterioration.

Following a complaint from Ms MacLeod, the Medical Board began proceedings against the surgeon in the tribunal late last year.

Civil proceedings have been launched in the Supreme Court regarding Mrs McLeod's case. The matter will again be reviewed before the tribunal in two weeks.

Ms Leesa MacLeod said her mother's medical treatment by the surgeon and the follow-up were a disaster and that she had been living a nightmare since her mother's death more than four years ago.

She said it would be of immense help to prospective patients if the government put in place a system where a doctor's record - including success and mortality rates - was made transparent.

Source: Medindia

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