South Australia has been hit with yet another public health bungle, and the SA Pathology errors could see victims seek compensation.
SA Health is back in the spotlight but once again for all the wrong reasons. The recent discovery that a large group of men were falsely misdiagnosed with prostate cancer after SA Pathology used testing apparatus known to produce inaccurate results has caused widespread disappointment within the community. Needless to say, it has also been highly traumatic for the men affected by these errors.
The issue concerns testing kits used by SA Pathology that falsely reported elevated levels of prostate-specific antigen (PSA). A positive test indicates the presence of prostate cancer and even at low levels can result in patients being referred for further cancer treatment. Sadly, the inaccurate test results which showed higher levels of PSA in patients has meant that many men were incorrectly diagnosed with prostate cancer and in some instances underwent treatment for cancer that they did not have.
The discovery of these errors within SA Pathology resulted in the appointment of the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care to undertake an independent review into the serious failures of SA Pathology in reporting PSA test results.
The independent review made damning findings of the SA Pathology Service reporting that their complaint handling, open disclosure, governance and accountability systems during this period were totally inadequate. A copy of the full report can be found here.
Misdiagnosed or medical negligence issue? TGB is highly experienced in this field. [/call-to-action]
This recent revelation sounds all too familiar. It was only three years ago when the BreastScreen SA debacle was made public and the report following the system wide review of BreastScreen SA was published. In similar terms to the report regarding Pathology SA, the report into BreastScreen SA demonstrated that there were widespread systemic errors within BreastScreen SA, which resulted in the failure to detect obvious cancers in over 70 women. TGB has been and continues to be heavily involved in the compensation process for the many women affected by the misdiagnosis of their cancer by BreastScreen SA.
In yet another recent failure, it has been reported that incorrect dosages of chemotherapy were administered to leukaemia sufferers in two of the State’s public hospitals. Already a parliamentary committee has investigated the issue and victims and their families have also requested further investigations into the practices of the hospitals. TGB has assisted some of the affected people and their families with claims arising from the incorrect treatment they received.
While announcements were made by the Government shortly after the BreastScreen SA and chemotherapy bungles were made public, to date we are not aware of any action by the Government to set up a compensation scheme to assist the men affected by the prostate cancer misdiagnosis issue. Accordingly, at this stage any claims will need to proceed through the normal court processes. This approach will of course cause further stress and worry to the men affected by these errors.
TGB has significant experience in dealing with SA Health and it’s legal team with these type of claims. Therefore, we recommend that you contact us for a free initial interview about your potential claim.