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Joelle Matar featured on 2GB Deborah Knight Show discussing medical negligence - 7 September 2021

Joelle Matar providing Q & A on the 2GB Deborah Knight Afternoon Show discussing Medical Negligence - 7 September 2021

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

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Read the transcript below:

DK      And time for Tuesday. Legal Matters. We do it every week with Turner Freeman Lawyers.  Our focus today is medical negligence. So it’s free legal advice.  If you’ve got a question or query. 131 873 is the number to call. Maybe something’s gone wrong with the surgery or at the doctor or at the hospital – because it could be really traumatic and confusing and you’re just not sure if you might have rights to compensation. If that’s happened to you or if you’ve got a question, 131 873 is the open line number. Joelle Matar is a medical negligence specialist at Turner Freeman Lawyers and we’ve got our $100 Westfield voucher as usual to give away to the best call in this segment as well.  Joelle. Thanks for joining us.

JM      Thanks Deb.

DK      Before we get to some of the questions, because they are coming through, I wanted to ask you about this story recently, about the model, Tara Moss who had been complaining about pelvic pain for some time to her GP – but she’s now suing her doctor.

JM      Yes.

DK      What should you do if you’ve got an issue and your doctor is not taking you seriously and it’s not being resolved – if it ends up causing you a longer term injury or issue – from a legal perspective, what should you do?

JM      Well the first thing you would do and that’s probably from a medical perspective is, if you feel that your doctor is not taking your complaint seriously or they are dismissing your symptoms, not really listening to you, not referring you for investigations – not really doing anything about it – it’s probably time to seek another opinion. See another GP or even seek a referral to a specialist and if you are seeing a specialist, get a second opinion.  From a medical perspective, if this failure to investigate and this failure to take those symptoms seriously then causes you to develop a permanent or a significant injury, that’s when you need to speak with a lawyer.

DK      Because Tara Moss complained 8 times to her GP and she now – as a result of her injuries – she’s got to use a cane to walk – it’s having a big impact on her daily life.

JM      Of course it would be.

DK      And with a case like this, if the plaintiff is successful in suing a doctor, how would they determine the payout?

JM      It really depends on how that injury has impacted that person’s life – it’s about tangible losses. About the impact that it’s had on things like your capacity to perform activities of daily living. For example, are you able to look after yourself in terms of personal hygiene? Are you able to look after your children? Are you able to look after the family home? And the other component would be pain and suffering which is how it’s impacted on your quality of life and there’s of course the physical component and a psychological component to pain and suffering. And the other issue that I think with Moss would be having the capacity to work – you know. It would be interesting to see just how much it has, had an adverse impact on her vocational capacity. I’ve only seen limited documents that have been published – so I don’t really have you know the insight into those details – but I imagine that there would be a significant claim for lost earnings.

DK      All right. Yeah. All right let’s get to some of your calls. 131 873 is the number. Darren has got a question for Joelle.  Hi Darren.

C1       Hi Deb. Hi Joelle.

JM      Hello.

C1       I had – I went to the dentist – I had a hole in my tooth. Simple –just a pull the tooth – because I wanted to get rid of it and then there was a type of complication – she was pulling at my tooth and you know – ripping at it and I thought there was something a bit – “how ya going about it”.  She goes to get another dentist and then he comes back in and they take more x-rays and then he said – “Look, I’m going to have to take two teeth out”. Since then, I was in the chair for about 2 hours – well it felt like 2 hours – When I left – she only put a couple of stitches in and she’s left a hole into my sinuses and this is a couple of years ago and I went – I was getting headaches – and I didn’t think much of it – then I got a COVID test and they went right up my nose with it and then I went to see another doctor and then she said how’s your head now? You look all blocked up – which I said “yeah, I’ve got a COVID test” – she said go and see your dentist. There’s something with your sinuses. So here I am now – I’ve had CT scans – I’ve seen another specialist – I’ve got a hole in the gum where it’s leaking through there and blocked all of one side of my head up.  I’ve got to go – he’s instructed me now to go see other specialists – referred on – so that can clean all that up and he said it’s not going to be a pretty bill.  I was just wondering where I stand with that dentist? Like, they haven’t followed up on me – they never done anything and you know – that’s where ……..

DK      Well let’s see what Joelle has to say because it would be interesting to see if you might have a case there.  Joelle? What do you think?

JM      That’s incredible. I just have to start with that………. It’s incredible to have that sort of a complication.  Was it causing you any symptoms over that 2 year period since having the extractions done and now being diagnosed with this issue?  Were you have any problems?

C1       Well, I sort of really didn’t notice it. I know I was going to have problems – but I could feel it coming through there all the time and I’m always blocked up and I never really spat before but I’m always spitting phlegm and like sort of the headaches coming and going off …….

DK      Yeah – So it was impacting you. But I guess not in a ………

C1       Well a little bit – I wasn’t really discomforted too much but now it’s all come to head – I could hardly walk for a week – It’s just that – My head was really ________.

JM      I’d like to be able to speak with you Darren – off air – we can have a chat – I’d get a bit more information from you and we can take it from there.

DK      All right, we’ll see if you can take it further and Darren, stay on the line because I’m also going to send you out the $100 Westfield voucher because I reckon after enduring that, you could spend something on yourself and make yourself a bit better because it sounds like quite the ordeal – so we’ll pass your details on and we’ll get you that $100 Westfield voucher as well. Kelly’s also got a question for you Joelle. Hi Kelly.

C2       Oh hello. Thanks. It’s a two-par question. It’s – about 25 years ago, my brother went to a GP and had a spot removed and the GP never read the pathology – about 12 months later it came out back and it was melanoma. He went to another surgeon – had surgery and that was successful however, about 18 months ago, it’s come back and now he’s gone into stage 4 with wide spread melanoma.

DK      Oh dear.

C2       So, at the time after the initial disaster, one of the surgeons who operated was saying – you know – you could do something about it that my father didn’t have the headspace to do anything and because he was given the all clear, he thought it was all good. Is there any possibility of any sort of action – is there anything actionable at this point in time or is – that it’s passed the statute of limitations on this?

DK      It’s terrible what he’s having to go through Kelly. Joelle.

JM      I’m so sorry to hear of what he’s going through and what your family is going through. It might be a little bit tricky with the limitation period because it’s been such a long time ago. But, I’d be more than happy to have a chat to you or your brother. And see if there is something that we could do.

DK      All right Kelly, if you can stay on the line and I’m sorry that your brother’s having to endure what he’s going through because it is a terrible situation.

C2       Yes……

DK      All right, we are out of time Joelle. Thank you so much for joining us.

JM      Always a pleasure.

DK      Joelle Matar there and if you or someone you know needs to seek legal advice, Turner Freeman Lawyers is a great place to start. They provide a range of specialised legal services including compensation and negligence law, asbestos litigation, superannuation and disability claims, employment law, Wills and Estates and property law. So you can get in contact with them directly. Call them 13 43 63 or check out their website for more information – turnerfreeman.com.au.

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