Thursday, December 11, 2003

Nurses tell of 'malpractice' deaths

From left to right, Valerie Owen, Vanessa Brag, Sheree Martin, Nola Fraser and Yvonne Quinn

Whistleblower nurses claim there are hundreds more deaths from malpractice that warrant investigation at two south-western Sydney hospitals.

The New South Wales Government set up a special commission of inquiry to investigate suspect deaths at Camden and Campelltown hospitals.

An official inquiry into alleged malpractice at the two hospitals was today declared deficient and the head of the health watchdog sacked.

Nineteen patients' deaths have been referred to the coroner for investigation but whistleblower nurse Nola Fraser says it is the tip of the iceberg.

"In reality we're talking hundreds of deaths and thousands of cases of people who received gross negligence and gross mismanagement in their cases, and they're lucky to be alive today," she said.

The State Government has set up a special inquiry to investigate health care at both hospitals, but the Opposition and nurses are demanding it be broadened to examine claims of bullying by the former health minister.

Health Minister Morris Iemma is under pressure to comply after today praising the whistleblowers for pursuing their claims.

By Corrupt Government 11 December 03

THE DOG: Before you kick the watchdog sack Bob Carr and the former health minister Craig Knowles. These people were ultimately responsible for making sure more people died through lack of acknowledgment of whistleblowers complaints and for dictating to the Health Care Complaints Commission's policies and practices in order to shelve concerns bought by consumers to the Commission for political purposes.