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Joelle Matar featured on 2GB Deborah Knight Show discussing medical negligence - 3 August 2021

Joelle Matar providing Q & A on the 2GB Deborah Knight Afternoon Show discussing Medical Negligence - 3 August 2021


DK – Deborah Knight / JM – Joelle Matar –  C1,2,3, etc – Callers 


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Read the transcript below:

DK      So it is Tuesday. Legal Matters. Thanks to our good friends at Turner Freeman Lawyers. Looking today at medical negligence. So if you’ve got a question/query. 131 873 is the number and it can be traumatic having loved ones suffer negligence in say a hospital or in an aged care setting – maybe it’s a surgery gone wrong and it can be confusing as well. So to answer your calls, Joelle Matar, a medical negligence specialist at Turner Freeman is on the line for us now. And as always, we’ve got our $100 Westfield voucher to give away to the caller who asks the best question for the segment today. Joelle, thanks for joining us. The big topic is of course vaccination and particularly the fact that a lot of people in regional areas in NSW.  Their vaccine appointments are being rescheduled – their doses are being redirected to greater Sydney to slow the spread of Delta. If medical professionals don’t act as quickly as possible to solve a problem, could they be subject to a medical negligence claim when it comes to the vaccinations?

JM      Good afternoon Deborah. Well that’s a very good question. So, look I’m not in a position to be speaking on behalf of the Government – I think they’re the ones that would ultimately have to answer for the fact that we don’t have enough vaccines for everybody. But putting that aside, I think the way that the Government is trying to encourage doctors, particularly general practitioners, to come on board to be able to facilitate giving the vaccines to a larger number of people is by putting in place this indemnity scheme. So it is a “no fault” scheme that’s being offered and that scheme would cover general practitioners for – you know – any side effects that a person could develop as a result of being vaccinated.

DK      Yeah – so that was brought in as a cover – as a protection.

JM      Yeah.

DK      And just on that recall that I mentioned for the CPAP machines, if you’ve got an issue like that – if there’s been a wide world recall on a particular product, would it be covered by medical negligence or consumer law?  What would it sort of fall into?

JM      There might be – look – I think it’s probably consumer law – there might be a class action that we’ll see coming out of that, but I think it’s a little bit too soon to tell.

DK      And is that something that would be a concern out of a medical recall with a medical product if you’ve got issues as a result – something that you could potentially seek legal advice with regards to?

JM      Of course. Of course. I mean if you are inhaling these really nasty chemicals and if you do develop cancer as a result – then yes – there would be recourse for that and I don’t even want to think about how many people would be impacted by something like this.

DK      Yeah well that’s it – it’s a worldwide recall…..

JM      Yeah…

DK      We know so many people do use those CPAP machines for a range of health issues. Now Tele-Health is the other one before I get to the calls. I know that it’s grown a lot in popularity and increasingly so with the lockdowns and with the pandemic – the funding of Tele-Health has been increased too. Have you seen many cases of medical negligence arise from Tele-Health?

JM      No – not as yet.

DK      Good.

JM      I mean – again, it’s a little bit early to tell because obviously with these things kind of increasing at the moment – by the time that we get to see the impact or the injuries that might then materialise as a result of something that’s been missed – it usually takes you know – a few months I’d say.  So hopefully we won’t see many of those, but I suspect that we will unfortunately.

DK      So a matter of just waiting and see how it all unfolds.

JM      Yeah – look – Tele-Health is great – in that use – it does give you access to a doctor – especially now with the COVID-19 restrictions and lockdowns in parts of Sydney, but at the end of the day, it does not replace a physical examination. There are so many things that a doctor won’t be able to see or tell without actually being able to physically examine a patient.

DK      Yeah.

JM      It’s so important.

DK      Yeah – t is so important. Let’s get to some calls. Patty is on the line with a question for you today. Hi Patty.

C1       Hello there Deb. How are you? Thanks for taking my call.

DK      Thank you for calling in.

C1       Um.  Yeah – Doc. I’ve had a lot of problems with the knee. I actually went in to get some scar tissue cut out and while I was in the hospital, I got a staph infection in it. Hence they had to re-flush my leg and I virtually had to come back and like –during the course of the next couple of months – the poison from the staph started to come through my knee – Hence then I had to go in and they took the whole replacement out and left me without virtually a knee for a few months. And they ended up putting another replacement knee in – but now I’ve been left with a bent leg and on a walking stick and it’s so hard for me because I’ve been an athlete and played you know at a very high level. Is there any comeback – I mean it’s been now 2 years – it’s like getting that staph infection from the hospital. Yeah – what do I do?  Like it wasn’t – and I didn’t go into the hospital to get a staph infection but…..

DK      Of course – yeah – that was the outcome. Well let’s see what Joelle has to suggest here. Joelle – what do you reckon?

JM      Well to start with – I am so sorry Patty – it sounds incredibly painful and debilitating. I’d love to be able to have a chat to you where I can get a bit more information from you and hopefully there is something that we could do to help you.

DK      And Joelle, I’ll also get Patty to stay on the line because I think we’ll give Patty our $100 Westfield voucher because I think if she’s been left in that sort of situation then that could be a little bit of a help along at least.

JM      Yeah.  Yeah.

DK      So Patty stay on the line and we’ll get your details for Joelle to get some legal advice and I’ll send you out the $100 Westfield voucher as well for your call today.  Deb has also got a question for us.  Hello Deb.

C2       Hi Deb.  How’re you going?

DK      Yeah – good thank you.

C2       That’s good – look my husband had his varicose veins removed and ever since then he’s had an infection at the site of the groin of where it has gone in – he’s been on antibiotics for a couple of years. It’s not going away and it’s spreading a little bit and you know we go to the doctors and they just give us antibiotics and you know –it’s just – is that it? That’s how the cookie crumbled?  sort of thing.

DK      Hmmm – yeah. Gosh. Well let’s see if Joelle has a solution or a suggestion for you there.

JM      Yeah – I mean – look – I don’t know if he’s being looked after by his GP or if it’s a combination of the GP and also an outpatient’s clinic of a hospital – but – and again – I’m not a medical practitioner myself, but I’m just wondering if there’s been an infectious diseases consult – have any of the doctors actually consulted with an infectious diseases specialist to see how they could…….

C2       [inaudible]

DK      What was that Deb? Has that happened?

C2       Nothing – no – we’ve just as I said – he – someone should have done a swab or something on it or something and at least to………..

JM      Well they need to be able to identify the organism for them to then be able to figure out which antibiotic would work on that particular organism.  So if they haven’t already done a swab, that’s a bit of an issue – so I would like to be able to speak to you off air if that’s okay Deb and we can have a chat and see if there is something we can do.

C2       Thank you so much.

DK      Alright Deb. You stay on the line as well and see if we can get you the help you need. And Joelle as always, it’s an enormous help. Thank you so much for joining us.

JM      Always a pleasure. Thanks.

DK      Joelle Matar there from Turner Freeman Lawyers. They provide a range of specialised legal services, compensation and negligence law, asbestos litigation, super and disability claims, employment law, wills and Estates and property law and if you want to get in contact with any of the lawyers at Turner Freeman, the website or just give them a bell – 13 43 63.


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