Slap on the wrist for negligent cancer doctor

So you cannot trust even a specialist and the regulators who are supposed to protect you do nothing to stop it. Could he not at least have been fined a substantial sum or barred from anything but general practice work? His interest in patient care was obviously nil. Regulators so often let negligent and incompetent people run riot that you wonder what they are for. Even when complaints are received, it always seems to take them years to act. DO NOT rely on them to protect you from incompetents. Make your own enquiries when and where you can. And Google your own illnesses so you get an idea of what SHOULD be happening

A UROLOGIST repeatedly failed to order a biopsy for a patient who presented with symptoms of prostate cancer over four years, by which time the tumour had become aggressive and spread, an inquiry has found. William Lynch, a consultant at the Sydney Prostate Cancer Centre and Urology Sydney, has been reprimanded by the NSW Medical Board for displaying ''a serious lack of care in the management of [the] patient''.

The treatment of all Dr Lynch's patients will now be subject to an audit that will look at his history taking, recall system for follow-up of patient test results, diagnostic process and decision-making.

Last month the Professional Standards Committee found that Dr Lynch failed to monitor the patient's escalating prostate specific antigen (PSA) levels, which can indicate the presence of prostate cancer. He also failed to arrange a biopsy, which would have diagnosed the cancer and indicated how likely it was to metastasise, despite suspicious results of rectal examinations and the patient's symptoms and strong family history of the disease. When the cancer was finally diagnosed 3½ years later it was graded nine out of 10.

Dr Lynch is a director of the Australasian Urological Foundation and has published extensively on the use of minimally invasive treatments for prostate cancer such as cryotherapy, in which intense cold is used to kill cancerous cells. He consults at Sutherland and St George Hospitals as well as St George Private, President Private and the Mater Private hospitals.

A number of expert reports to the Health Care Complaints Commission said his conduct was significantly below the standard expected of a specialist of his seniority.

Dr Lynch told the committee that some of the patient's clinical notes had gone missing when Dr Lynch moved offices, but from memory, the patient had been reluctant to undergo a biopsy - an argument the patient's wife strongly rejected and the committee did not accept. He did not know why alarm bells did not ring when the patient's PSA reached a high level of 15.8 and could not explain why he failed to write detailed letters back to the patient's GP.

The committee also found that Dr Lynch had not provided any evidence of the changes he claimed to have made since the case, such as an electronic medical record system and ''triple checks'' to ensure abnormal results were followed up.


Posted by John Ray. For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. To keep up with attacks on free speech see TONGUE-TIED. Also, don't forget your daily roundup of pro-environment but anti-Greenie news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH . Email me (John Ray) here

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