Thursday, August 26, 2010

Please speak up!

This is another call for dissatisfied ETS patients of Dr Murray MacCormick to write to the Health and Disability Commissioner (HDC). The more complaints about this ETS surgeon, the harder it will be for the HDC to simply write Dr MacCormick an educational letter as a way of 'resolving' the one complaint against Dr MacCormick that they are currently investigating.

To add some perspective....Richard Stubbs, a liver cancer and obesity specialist here in NZ, who had been the subject of numerous complaints in relation to not obtaining informed consent, was recently fined NZ$100,000 by the NZ Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal. He was also censured, and ordered to undertake a mentoring programme for 18 months and have a practice audit.

Was this a fair result? Consider this doctor's history of harming patients:

-He appeared before the Tribunal in 1999 and was found guilty of conduct unbecoming a medical practitioner.
-Five complaints were made to the HDC about this doctor between 2002 and 2004, mostly in relation to consent.
-Another two complaints had been made to the HDC by 2007.
-The case that brought him before the Tribunal most recently was one that found him guilty of of professional misconduct, failing to obtain informed consent, and failure to adequately document post-operative care. In this case, the male patient, 'Mr N', died in 2006, after an operation with Dr Stubbs.

So...this doctor contributed directly to a man losing his life, and has had at least eight other formal complaints made about him in less than 10 years.

And he is still practising.

He also tried, unsuccessfully, to get name suppression for himself and the hospital he works at (Wakefield Hospital, in Wellington), and tried to get out of paying the NZ$100,000 fine by claiming that most of his earnings went toward research and he kept only a small portion for himself. The Tribunal looked into this and stated they were "not impressed" with his evidence, and upheld the fine.

Disheartening and disturbing? Without a doubt. And it also highlights the fact that it takes a lot of noise before these medical professionals who harm patients again and again and again finally come to the attention of those who pull the strings.

I hope Dr Stubbs never treats another patient again. His name has been all over the media here.

Could the Kiwi ETS Group achieve the same with Dr MacCormick???

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