The NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard has ordered an urgent investigation into a Sydney hospital after surgeons removed the wrong body part from a cancer patient last week.
The male cancer patient was admitted to the Northern Beaches Hospital, in Frenchs Forest, for colorectal surgery at the public-private hospital, when physicians removed the wrong side of his bowel.
It is understood that a mix up in the man’s pathology results, processed by a private contractor, may have contributed to the serious surgical error.
The patient underwent corrective surgery on Friday and the cause of his botched procedure is being investigated.
“The patient and their family have been provided full disclosure and NBH is supporting their ongoing care and treatment,” a hospital spokesman told AAP.
Mr Hazzard released a statement this morning, confirming he had been made aware of the “serious event involving surgery on a patient” at the $ 600 million hospital, which has been plagued with teething problems since its opening late last year.
“Immediately upon being advised of this issue, I instructed NSW Health to liaise with
Northern Beaches Hospital to ensure that all support possible for the patient and for
the patient’s family would be available,” Mr Hazzard said.
“In such situations there are investigative processes and those must proceed to their
conclusion before any further comment can be made.”
Mr Hazzard said the patient’s privacy “must by respected” but pointed to claims, made by the hospital, that there were issues with the pathology results provided to surgeons.
Since its opening in October last year, the Northern Beaches Hospital has been plagued with problems concerning patient safety, understaffing and shortages of medical equipment and vital medications.
The 488-bed hospital is a 60 per cent public and 40 per cent private establishment.
A senior executive at the hospital, director of operations Pat Taurins, was made redundant this week, sparking serious concerns about the hospital’s alleged “shake-up”, according to The Daily Telegraph.
Mr Taurins is the fifth senior executive to leave the hospital since its opening.
An internal email, obtained by the ABC last year, found that a senior hospital staff member resigned from his role, citing “fundamental systemic failings in the way the hospital has been set up and is currently running”.
“Let me be clear these are NOT “teething problems,” the staff member wrote in his email.
“The hospital currently fails completely in its primary objective of patient safety.”
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