Over the years we’ve done a great deal of work on the NSW Health Care Complaints Commission, including making a couple of complaints about doctors to them ourselves.
From this work we’ve come to a number of conclusions. (1) That if a complaint was made to it about a doctor, the doctor was more likely to find that he or she could get away with MORE than they thought, than less. (2) That although, in theory, it is supposed to make doctors accountable, it isn’t accountable itself, or certainly wasn’t when Kieran Pehm was the Health Care Complaints Commissioner for the 10 years up until 30 Jun 2015, as Kieran Pehm was completely and utterly useless. (3) That, in particular, although it received hundreds of complaints a year about doctors, it only found that about 8 a year had done not a very good job – out of 50,000 NSW doctors!
As part of our work, on 1 Mar 2016, we emailed a letter to Sue Dawson, the new Commissioner since the 7 Dec 2015, asking if anything was likely to be different under her. She passed our email on to a Damien Anderson to provide a response, and, over the next couple of weeks, we swapped more than a dozen emails with him.
Unfortunately, we don’t have the time or the resources to put these emails up on the internet for our readers to view, but if the Commission wanted to do this, we’d be more than happy to direct our readers to them. But I wouldn’t think they reflected much credit on either Mr Anderson or Ms Dawson, with Mr Anderson tending to resort to sarcasm if he couldn’t do anything better.
Here’s a sample.
On 15 Mar 2016, Mr Anderson emailed us this.
(We had sent him an analysis which seemed to us to show that in January and February 2016 the pattern of 8 a year seemed to be be continuing.)
On 16 Mar 2016, we responded with this, with, of course, a copy to Ms Dawson.
On 23 Apr 2016, having got no response to this email for more than 5 weeks, we emailed Mr Anderson this, with, of course, a copy to Ms Dawson.
What more can we say!