Has the ghost of Queensland’s Dr Death, Dr Jayant Patel, started haunting Western Australia’s Gallop government?

The West Australian
has been inspired by the Beattie government’s difficulties stemming
from Dr Patel’s activities in Bundaberg to see if there were any
similarities in its back yard. And not all has been going according to
plan on Western Australian operating tables and in other divisions of
its hospitals.

The newspaper managed to obtain, via FOI
investigations, a report disclosing human error in public and private
hospitals between October 2003 and July 2005 that resulted in 68
deaths, including operations on “the wrong patient or body part.”

fatalities were due to “administering incorrect drugs and surgical
instruments and materials being left inside body cavities.“All the
deaths and injuries were preventable, according to the newspaper.

resulted from complications in and after surgery, including the
perforation of internal organs causing blood poisoning and failure to
diagnose and treat fat, air or blood clots blocking arteries. ”

findings were carried in the WA Health Department’s inaugural Sentinel
Event Report which Liberal Opposition health spokesman Dr Kim Hames
says should have been revealed by Health Minister Jim McGinty, not via
an FOI investigation.

“There were three cases in which a
procedure was carried out on the wrong patient and eight on the wrong
body part. In seven cases, instruments and material, particularly
sponges, swabs and packs, were left inside patients after an
operation,” the West’s report said.

“And two people died because they were given the wrong medication.

hospital processes, including failure to provide timely and appropriate
care and bad discharge planning, led to 11 people either dying or
becoming seriously ill.”

Dr Hames said Mr McGinty should make a
commitment to publish the Sentinel Event Report each year. “It is now
mandatory for hospitals to report fatal and serious illness sustained
as a result of rare and preventable circumstances,” he said.

should be mandatory for the Minister to reveal this information to the
public, which has a right to know what is going on in our hospitals.”