From time to time, in relation to Australia’s health systems, a real scandal emerges – 87 unnecessary deaths said to have been caused by Jayant Patel at the Bundaberg hospital in Queensland, 500 women eventually complaining about Graham Reeves in New South Wales, the recent problems in St Vincents hospital in Sydney, and the problems at the Bacchus Marsh hospital in Victoria come to mind.
All of these scandals have one thing in common – whereas the doctors who have not been doing their jobs properly often end up being punished to some degree, those who should have stopped these scandals from happening, should have “nipped them in the bud,” but haven’t done their job properly, end up “scott free.”
(In relation to the Jayant Patel story, this is set out in extraordinary detail in two Wikipedia articles – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jayant_Patel and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toni_Hoffman.)
It could be argued that it should be the other way around. There will always be those in every walk of life who, for one reason or another, don’t do their job properly, but it’s those whose job it is to stop these scandals from happening and who don’t do their job properly who should be the ones who end up in gaol. Such people would have received complaint after complaint after complaint about the doctors concerned, but they wouldn’t have responded to them properly.
And now, by far the biggest scandal of them all is starting to happen before our very eyes – the ice epidemic, which is already said to be affecting 160,000 Australian. It’s summed up in these two extracts from some material sent to us by a doctor practicing in the field of drug addiction.
We haven’t the slightest doubt that if this scandal is not handled properly – and we’re not optimistic that it will be – that the Malcolm Turnbulls and the Michael Bairds of this world should end up in gaol. The people of Australia are counting on them.