The chemotherapy controversy involving hospitals in Sydney seems to have taken a new turn. The New South Wales Health Department has ordered a probe into the treatment given to cancer patients after the shocking revelation of a report. As per the report, a few suspected doctors have been mistreating patients with incorrect chemotherapy doses over the last five years.
According to a report presented by the New South Wales Health Department, more than 100 head and neck cancer patients were given low doses of chemotherapy drugs by Dr. John Grygiel. The report further claimed that three hematology patients at St George and Sutherland hospitals suffered adverse effects due to wrong chemotherapy treatment.
Following these revelations, Dr Kiran Phadke was immediately suspended. He allegedly recommended incorrect doses to his patients, resulting in their deaths. Three of his patients were “affected by his choice of treatment, including fears of incorrect dosage. Two are since deceased and the records of another 14 patients are being reviewed,” The Sydney Morning Herald reported.
Health Minister Jillian Skinner has been under tremendous pressure following the revelations. The State Opposition on the other hand, has called for Skinner’s resignation. Opposition Leader Luke Foley slammed Skinner for putting the patients’ lives in danger due to wrong treatment. “There’s been a culture of cover up and protection for hospital administrators rather than a fierce desire from the minister to fight for patients’ safety and health,” he told News.com.au.
Skinner vehemently denied all allegations and defended herself. She expressed regret for the victims and also criticized St Vincent’s hospital for its “really problematic” initial response to the dosing scandal.
The alarming report also revealed that 37 of Dr Grygiel’s patients had died – “five from non-cancer causes and four from an unspecified cause of death.” Therefore, the cases of all public hospital cancer patients over the past five years will be reviewed again.