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LNP reveals more alleged malpractice cases at Mackay Hospital

Politics

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has dismissed as “scaremongering” revelations by the LNP Opposition of several more cases of alleged malpractice at Mackay Hospital.

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Opposition Leader David Crisafulli says three cases occurred within 48 hours and in departments not covered by a current independent review of the hospital, resulting in “at least one death”.

Mr Crisafulli accused the state government of hiding the significance of the Mackay hospital “crisis” with other cases detailed by Opposition health spokeswoman Ros Bates and Whitsunday MP Amanda Camm on Wednesday.

“The Opposition has been made aware of three clinical incidents in a 48 hour period resulting in at least one death, permanent patient harm and multiple doctors leaving the hospital,” he said.

“These events occurred in departments not covered by the review. Does this prove the Mackay health crisis is deeper than the government is admitting?”

An investigation into the north Queensland facility was commissioned last month after complaints from women about complications from caesareans and allegations of patient harm.

Mackay Base Hospital’s accreditation to train specialist obstetricians and gynaecologists has been suspended and at least one doctor has been suspended ahead of the probe.

It is the second review after a Caboolture Hospital inquiry this month found a preventable death was caused by clinical mismanagement and found a “negative workplace culture”.

But Ms Palaszczuk sought to play down Crisafulli’s concerns.

“As we saw with the Caboolture Hospital, there was a thorough review and assessment done and that was publicly released, and this is happening as well (at Mackay),” she said.

“I don’t think they will find any favours by what the leader of the Opposition is doing and that is scaremongering.”

Ms Bates claimed a doctor had been stood down after another patient at the Mackay hospital had suffered septic shock following botched kidney surgery.

Ms Camm added that a doctor resigned after a patient suffered a heart attack in the Mackay hospital’s ICU but staff weren’t notified immediately because “the monitor was switched off”.

Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said the woman’s death in September 2019 had been properly investigated but asked for additional information on the other cases.

However she said the Opposition had an obligation to follow proper channels with complaints.

“I would hope that all of the issues that the opposition are raising today are issues that have only come to light after the review in the terms of reference has been issued,” she said.

“Because if they had held on to these matters, knowing, having full knowledge of the issue at the time that the review was initiated and the terms of reference had been developed, it would be very, very irresponsible.

“It is really important to get these reviews right. It is important to have transparency and accountability around these investigations.”

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