Parliamentary Inquiry into Health Outcomes & Access to Health & Hospital Services in Rural, Regional & Remote NSW – Part Two
Published on June 11, 2021 by Rebecca Tidswell and Jesikah Richardson
Following multiple reports of poor quality healthcare the Parliamentary Inquiry into Health Outcomes and Access to Health & Hospital Services in Rural Regional & Remote NSW has been established to investigate the conditions in hospitals throughout rural NSW.
The Inquiry is continuing public hearings throughout NSW for the remainder of 2021 and is expected to report next year.
One aspect of the rural and regional healthcare crisis is the increasing reliance upon “virtual doctors” and a lack of staff physically present in rural and regional hospitals. In the recent public hearings held by the Inquiry, residents have expressed concerns that they feel unworthy of physical face-to-face healthcare.
Residents of regional communities should not have to receive a lower level of healthcare by virtue of their geographical location.
What can you do in the event that harm or death is caused as a result of inadequate medical treatment?
Health Care Complaints Commission (HCCC)
The HCCC is an independent body set up to protect public health and safety by resolving, investigating and prosecuting complaints about health care. The main aim is to protect the integrity of the NSW health care system, as well as protecting the health and safety of individuals and the community.
Individuals can lodge a complaint or concern with the HCCC for further investigation by calling 02 9219 7444 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Following investigation the HCCC may commence disciplinary action against the medical staff or healthcare provider if necessary.
If you have suffered permanent injury or illness due to the potential negligence of a hospital or their staff, a medical negligence claim can be pursued in order to recover compensation for the loss suffered. Compensation can help alleviate some of the financial pressures associated with permanent injury, including the ongoing cost of medical treatment, care and the loss of past and future income.
If you have suffered the loss of a close relative due to the negligence of the hospital or healthcare service you may be entitled to bring a Nervous Shock Claim for personal injury (mental harm) if you have suffered a recognised psychiatric injury or a Compensation to Relatives Act Claim to compensate for financial loss and support.
Coroners Court of NSW
In the unfortunate event that a patient has died, the Coroners Court of NSW has the power to investigate any sudden, unexpected or unexplained deaths. In specific circumstances the Coroner will order a Coronial Inquest and upon conclusion of the hearing will make findings and recommendations to improve public safety and prevent future deaths.
On some occasions, hospitals fail to report deaths to the Coroner and in these circumstances a relative or friend of the deceased can lodge a written request notifying the Coroner of the death and requesting an investigation.
Do you need help?
If you or a family member have suffered harm or loss as a result of inadequate care provided by a regional hospital or healthcare service, Carroll & O’Dea Lawyers can assist you navigate through this difficult period. You can also contact Rebecca Tidswell here.