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Sally Gleeson featured on 2GB discussing medical negligence claims – 9 June 2020

Sally Gleeson providing Q & A on the 2GB Deborah Knight Afternoon Show discussing Medical Negligence - 9 June 2020

Tuesday 9 June 2020 

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DK – Deborah Knight / SG – Sally Gleeson –   C1,2,3, etc – Callers

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Listen to the Podcast

Read the transcript below:

DK      Yeah – we do talk at this time every week with Turner Freeman Lawyers and this week we are looking medical negligence.  So if you’ve had a dodgy operation – something went wrong while you were in hospital – maybe you’re in more pain now than you were before – give us a call – 131 873 – We’ve got a $100 Westfield voucher for the caller with the best question; and Sally Gleeson is the partner in the Turner Freeman Sydney office and she’s on the line for us now Sally. Hello.

SG      Hi. How are you?

DK      Yeah – good. Now medical negligence. I know that there’s a real concern that it is on the rise and it can be a really basic thing can’t it that can make a massive difference?

SG      That’s right. So, medical negligence generally speaking is something that arises when someone suffers an injury when receiving services by a doctor and non-doctors – so any allied health professional or a hospital. And that person has to suffer an injury due to what has to be proven to be negligence – and you know, medical negligence is not a lovely area of law – it’s a very hard area of law – it’s difficult for patients to understand that they have been a victim of medical negligence because they trust the medical professional and they should and when something goes wrong, it can be very very difficult to accept and understand – so the job of a lawyer is to understand what happened and to help guide the patient as to whether there is anything in there by way of financial compensation to the patient that they can obtain.

DK      Yeah – and if you’ve got a question that you’d like to ask – now’s the time – 131 873 is the number. We’ve got a Westfield voucher for the best caller. Margaret’s got a question for us first up. Hi Margaret.

C1       Hi Deb. Love your show.

DK      Oh – thank you for calling. What’s happened to you?

C1       I had a breast implant about 6 months ago and I went back to the doctor – one of them was starting to swell up and it never went down to what the other one was – so I went back and he squeezed it and I wasn’t under anaesthetic – but he squeezed it and it hurt terribly. Anyway, a few weeks later, I started getting discharge underneath where they’d cut it. Now what he’s told me – what I have to do – I’m in such pain – I have to come up with the money again to replace that bag that’s leaking.

DK      Oh dear.

SG      Hi Margaret – its Sally here. I do a bit of cosmetic surgery – particularly breast implants – medical negligence. It sounds like you need to see someone independent – that’s what I’d do if I were you – see someone independent for treatment and obtain a second opinion. It sounds like the implant is repelling from the actual capsule that it’s in and you’ve got some type of infection. So you have some type of infection – it’s ruptured and it’s trying to expel itself. So it’s not something that you can self-manage and it’s not something that you can manage conservatively. I’m not a doctor but from my experience and having done this type of work extensively, you know we’re running a class action at the moment, so I’ve done a bit of this work. You really really need to see someone for a second opinion. I don’t think you should be coming up with the money to the same surgeon to have it fixed. It think you need to see someone independent and these things are urgent sometimes and so you really need to get onto it quite quickly and get yourself sorted and fixed up and then if there’s anything I can do, I’m happy to help you.

DK      Alright Margaret – we might get your details and give you some help there because I think that’s something we could follow-up with, so if you can stay on the line that would be good, we’ll put you in contact with Sally. Steve’s called in too. Hi Steve.

C2       Yeah – how’re going?

DK      Yeah good.

C2       Yeah – my wife had a knee replacement about oh probably 12 months ago/18 months ago and right from the start it didn’t feel right – and she’s in a lot of pain with it and she kept on – and when she sits on the lounge, you can notice that actually one leg is shorter than the other.  When she went back to the specialist, she told the specialist that “it feels like my legs shorter”. About ½ a ______  – and the specialist said “Oh it probably is but we’ll fix it up when we do your hip next” – which is not really good either.  So I’m just wondering um – she went to a chiropractor and the chiropractor had a look and says “yeah – you’re definitely – one leg longer than the other”.

DK      I can hear her talking to you next to there Steve. It sounds like an awful situation to be in. Sally – can…. – is there any recourse potentially?

SG      Hi Steve. Before – I just wanted to ask you – It’s Sally here. Before the operation, I assume that there was no problem with difference in length in the legs of your wife?

C2       Nah – nah.

SG      No? – Okay – so it sounds like whatever the implant that’s been put in – whatever the actual device that’s been put in – the size of – I mean in my experience – again, I’m not a doctor – all I can do is give you the benefit of my experience having done this sort of work for about 20 years – it sounds like the actual prosthetic that was put wasn’t adjusted properly to your wife’s hip – so that the way it was adjusted meant that the leg went up – so it’s really something that is about the size of the prosthetic or the size of the actual device being put into your wife – that might not have been the right size for her actual hip.

DK      What about if they’re saying to Steve and his wife though Sally, that “Oh, we’ll sort it out later when you do the replacement…..“… I mean…….

SG      Yeah.

DK      the replacement. I mean that’s not good enough surely.

SG      Absolutely. Your wife’s in pain – I mean obviously she’s uncomfortable, it’s inconvenient, it’s causing her some issues now –it’s not something that gets fixed up when you’re doing another surgery maybe – it’s really something that she needs to address now. So again, as I said this to the previous caller……. my advice is to you need to see someone independent, get some independent treatment – it’s not the best answer and it’s not the ideal answer but you really need to get someone objective who can give your wife an opinion about what’s gone wrong and perhaps what the answer is.

DK      Alright Steve. We’ll put you in touch with Sally as well, if you could hold the line. 131 873 is the number to call. We’re talking medical negligence – if you’ve got a question – call in now. Sally Gleeson is joining us from Turner Freeman Lawyers to answer your calls.  Free legal advice on the radio.  What could be better than that?  And look just before we go to a quick break….. Breaking news…… 2000 spectators are going to be allowed at Saturday’s AFL showdown. It’s happening at Adelaide Oval between Port Adelaide and Adelaide Crows.  So this will be the first major crowd allowed at a sports match in Australia since before the restrictions were introduced. That news coming in……. 2000 fans will be allowed at Adelaide Oval when the AFL kicks off this weekend. Back with more right after this.

11 minutes to 2.  We’re talking Legal Matters with Sally Gleeson from Turner Freeman Lawyers. If you have a question, give us a call now – 131 873 – specifically looking at medical negligence. So if something’s gone wrong for you during an operation in hospital, during a medical consult and you think you might be eligible for some sort of help, some sort of compensation – give us a call – 131 873. We’ll get to your calls in a tick.  Breaking news from NSW Police – they now say that the 20 year old woman whose body was found at Cambridge Park had not been seen or heard from since June the 3rd. Now her family in Perth were the ones who raised the alarm here and police have arrested her brother. He’s been arrested at Cumberland Hospital – he had admitted himself some time over the past 6 days – so that news just through in what’s a very sad story indeed.  The 20 year old woman whose body was found at Cambridge Park – her brother has now been arrested. And the Finance Minister Matias Cormann, he’s been speaking at the Senate Committee Hearing into COVID-19 – hearing from a number of witnesses today and Matias Cormann has told the hearing that there may well be some adjustments to the Job Keeper Scheme – so we’ve already seen Childcare being cut short now ending on July 2020 – obviously backing that up with other measures to provide some assistance, but expect some more changes to that Job Keeper Scheme in place – Matias Cormann – the Finance Minister flagging that a short time ago at that Senate Committee Hearing.

Sally Gleeson is with us – 131 873 – if you’ve got a legal question. Now Sally, I understand you’ve got a specific case to talk about regarding a masseuse who had been sued – who didn’t have any insurance.

SG      Ah that’s right.  So there’s an assumption that if someone suffered some type of injury by reason of medical negligence, that there will no problem with the payout. It’s just a matter of proving that someone’s entitled to compensation and then finding out how much compensation or debating how much compensation they’re entitled to and sometimes that doesn’t happen because the particular doctor, even though that doctor or allied health professional for example a masseuse or a chiropractor is insured, their insurance company decides not to indemnify them or cover them pursuant to the insurance policy. That can happen and that has happened and that happens more and more frequently. So, what do you do if you’ve gone to see a doctor – the doctor’s provided a service – the doctor’s insured and the doctor’s insurance company says “I’m sorry, I’m not paying you, doctor – pursuant to the insurance policy because according to our insurance policy, you didn’t abide by the requirements of the policy and therefore we’re not paying you out”.

Well what happens if you go and see a masseuse as in the case of one of my clients – he went to obtain a remedial massage – the actual masseuse provided treatment that was a type of deep tissue massage which was too deep and too aggressive. As a result, the young man suffered a stroke from a vertebral artery dissection from the deep tissue massage which was aggressively provided and accordingly, you know a man in his late 30’s suffered a very traumatic stroke – he’s lost his ability to speak and do most things that we take for granted. Now that masseuse has public liability insurance, but not professional indemnity insurance. So, we are now in the midst of a battle with the actual masseuse about you know – whether they should have been insured – what personal assets they have?  And it becomes a case of, what do you do? The victim’s left without any funds to access. And these are really really difficult cases.

DK      And it is a difficult one with indemnity insurance – because every health professional is required to have it to cover them if something does go wrong and if they are sued, but what if the insurer refuses to pay out to the victim?

SG      That’s right.  So for example, there are many cases of doctors where they go outside the scope of the services that they should be providing.  For example, they provide unconventional or unrecognised treatment or they violate a patient or they don’t disclose things to the insurer. They’ve got certain reporting policies that they’ve got to adhere to, they’ve got to report incidents and complications as they arise. They have to disclose certain things about what they do and who they interact with. So sometimes doctors are insured – they have an insurance company that they pay premiums to, but they don’t do what the insurer says they should have done pursuant to the policy and the insurer decides to you know – ditch them.  So they had no cover and so a victim comes along, suffers medical negligence and has no recourse to compensation and they’re left in a very difficult position.

DK      Yeah. It’s a really difficult thing. And in terms of alternative medicines, the case you’re citing here – the masseuse – is it hazy in that field too?

SG      It is hazy because you know, they’re not doctors – they’re not people who provide conventional treatment. They’re not regulated. Anyone can open up shop and run a masseuse parlour or a beautician parlour. Sometimes beauticians do the same thing. They provide treatments and they provide anaesthetic and they provide certain types of treatment that can be very invasive and intrusive and can be almost surgical and they’re not insured and they …… sometimes are insured but they haven’t reported what they’re doing to their insurance. So, you go along and you trust them, but you don’t understand that if you suffer an injury that there is no compensation – there is no money to pay you. And these are very difficult circumstances for people and they have to think clearly about what they need to do and lawyers become involved so that they can try and sort out the insurance issue.

DK      And that’s why they need to ensure that they do seek professional help if it gets to that level. Sally. We thank you for joining us today and giving us some insight into it. Because as you say, it can be complicated. But if you are concerned and there is a way forward to get some research.  Thank you so much.

SG      Thanks Deborah.

DK      Sally Gleeson with Turner Freeman Lawyers. And we do have out Westfield Voucher – we’ll give that away to Margaret who called in from Canberra. If you want to get in contact with Turner Freeman Lawyers, you can do it on their website – its turnerfreeman.com.au. Their number as well is 13 43 63 – and they do provide really important advice to clients who might be concerned in various legal fields’ not just medical negligence. We’ll talk to Turner Freeman again this time next week.

Just news in – the question about the police chopper hovering around Concord West and apparently NSW Police says there’s a drug raid at a property on Bangalla Road – we’ll get some more details on that shortly.

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