A Sydney hospital has admitted its involvement in an NSW chemotherapy scandal, as it asked a junior staff to review the dosages prescribed by a doctor.
Doctor John Grygiel of St. Vincent’s Hospital prescribed the dosage to patients while registrar Paul Savage said that the given dosage was not sufficient for the patient. A parliamentary inquiry was set up that heard the matter, and a report was prepared indicating that Savage was a “medical governance/administration trainee”. The internal review report prepared by the registrar of the underdosage affected more than 100 patients undergoing cancer treatment.
Patients being underdosed with chemotherapy ranging between 2 milligrams and 200 milligrams of carboplatin has prompted the NSW chemotherapy scandal in a reputed hospital. However, the head of the hospital has admitted the mistake and claimed responsibility for the wrong done to patients.
Hospital takes responsibility for NSW chemotherapy scandal
The hospital’s chief executive Toby Hall apologized in front of the NSW parliamentary inquiry scheduled on Tuesday and admitted the mistake. “We underestimated the seriousness of the situation that was facing us,” Hall said. “It was done by a registrar, which is a little bit beyond a trainee. It should have been handled by a more senior clinician.”
Grygiel was found giving underdosage to approximately 129 head and neck cancer patients. The NSW chemotherapy scandal was reported in June 2015 but the matter grabbed attention only in February 2016 when patients found about it through media reports. During the inquiry held on Tuesday, the hospital management did not agree that it tried to hide facts from patients.
The hospital staff, on the other hand, claimed that they were ready to tell patients about the underdose of chemotherapy being given to then but they could not do it as they failed to set a schedule for the same. “We didn’t want to give them (patients) more stress while they were in their treatment without fully understanding what happened … we made a mistake,” Hall added.
According to 9News, NSW chief health officer Kerry Chant said that she was disappointed to see that such a reputed hospital in Sydney did not understand the nature and seriousness of the NSW chemotherapy scandal and handled it quite casually.