Deciding who’s the liar?

The problem for those lodging complaints about NSW doctors with Commissioner Sue Dawson and her people at the NSW Health Care Complaints Commission, is that doctors know that all they have to do to be believed is to assert something, because if complainants assert anything different, they will be deemed to be liers.

In our reader’s experience with Dr Andrew J. Dr Brooks, Urologist, which we’ve referred to many times, when Brooks was about to administer treatment which would largely ruin his patient’s sex life for the rest of his days, it was inevitable, it always happened, and can’t be reversed, that perhaps he may have thought, “Perhaps I’d better get something in writing from my patient confirming that I’ve explained this properly, in case it won’t be believed that I did this, but that he responded with something like, “I don’t care if my sex life is largely ruined for the rest of my days, so long as there’s a chance that I won’t have to get up 2 or 3 times a night to go to the toilet.””

But no, Brooks would have known he didn’t have to bother with anything like this.

As it turned out, in the letter dismissing our reader’s complaint, it was said, “Upon our review of all of the information gathered, we were satisfied that appropriate clinical consent was obtained, prior to your surgery. We also note Dr Brooks’ correspondence of 5 August 2014 to your referring doctor, Dr Grant, indicates that Dr Brooks did explain the risks and complications of the procedure to you.” In other words, “You’re the LIAR.

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Getting proper warnings from NSW doctors

You would think that it would be routine for NSW doctors to properly warn their patients, in writing, of any possible side effects and consequences of any treatments they were advocating, and, for the doctors’ own protection, to get the patients to put in writing that this had happened. And that any patients who hadn’t been so warned had a very sound basis to complain, and that Commissioner Sue Dawson and her people at the Health Care Complaints commission would agree.

But one of our readers claims that a Dr Andrew J Brooks, Urologist, didn’t warn him of a consequence of treatment he, the doctor, was advocating, which wasn’t just “a possible consequence,” it always happened, and which couldn’t have been more serious – he would be deprived of the considerable pleasure males enjoy when their semen is ejected through their penises during sexual intercourse, his semen would just go up into his bladder without any feeling, and that he couldn’t have any more children, and that this was a life long thing, how it would be for the rest of his life, it couldn’t be reversed.

And that when he lodged a complaint about this with Commissioner Sue Dawson and her people at the Health Care Complaints Commission, he was told that he had no basis to complain, of course. As usual, they’ve been completely and utterly useless.

The irony is that Brooks didn’t even claim that he’d warned our patient of this specific consequence. In a letter Brooks wrote to the HCCC, in relation to this matter, he said, and we quote, “I would usually discuss the alterations to sexual function and the loss of ejaculation.” In other words, that he “usually” discussed it – not that he’d discussed it, in particular, with our reader. And he certainly didn’t have it in writing from our reader that he’d warned him in any way. In dismissing our reader’s complaint, Ms Dawson and her people have relied on various vague claims by Brooks that he had explained to our reader the risks and complications, and to the fact that, quite incredibly, and we quote, “We have not identified a deficiency in the clinical care and treatment provided to you by Dr Brooks.”

This, of course, was only one of the main aspects of the treatment Brooks recommended, and carried out – the other was that it didn’t help in any way with the health problem our reader had been referred to Brooks for help with.

So our reader made a complaint to Commissioner Dawson and her people about Dr Brooks, only to be told he had no basis to complain. So he’s made a request for this decision to be reviewed, he’s still waiting for the outcome, and we’ll be absolutely astonished if he gets anything back that changes anything.

Ms Dawson will continue on on $600,000 or more – she was granted a further 5 year term just a few months ago – and she won’t care. And no one in the Berejiklian Government, least of all, Premier Berejiklian herself, will care. And people in the Opposition, like Ryan Park, their Shadow Minister for Health won’t care. And people like Andrew Brooks will continue recommending treatments that return him his $3,200 fees for less than an hour’s work – treatments that don’t help his patients in any way and which cause them life long damage. And, and we’re becoming more and more convinced that this is the real problem – we, the people, don’t care.

What we need to do is this, it’s simple. After we’ve had a face-to-face consultation with a doctor, we should send him or her an email along these lines – “In my face-to-face consultation with you today, I understood you to say blah blah blah, blah blah blah – have I understood this correctly? In particular, are there any possible side effects of any treatments you’ve recommended? I would be most grateful to hear from you.” Most of the time, such emails would only require a “yes” answer. If we don’t get a proper response to such an email, we should keep looking.

We’ve become convinced that doctors, a lot of the time, are not even sure themselves that what they’ve told you is correct – and so avoid putting anything in writing like the plague.

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An email sent to Premier Berejiklian – email number 11

Click on this link to view an email sent to Premier Berejiklian on 30 April, 2021 – our 11th such email.

We’ll let you know if we get a reply. Regrettably, we’ve never got the slightest indication that letters like this don’t go straight into the trash.

Never has a truer word been spoken than that, “We get the politicians we deserve!”

Come on, readers, we deserve better than this!

A 31 May, 2021 update: Our email is yet to be even acknowledged.

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The NSW Health Care Complaints Commission in action 7

A contribution put together with one of our readers.

In 2010, I was referred to Dr Kerrie Meades, Ophthalmologist, for help with the double vision I was experiencing, which was getting worse – I was becoming a danger to himself and others on the road when I was driving a car, I could have had a serious accident, and on one occasion nearly did. But in 3 or 4 hours in Meades’ rooms, seeing her and her people, at a cost of hundreds of dollars, I learnt nothing. She/they kept telling me that double vision could have extremely serious causes, which required “extensive investigation” – investigation that kept going on and on and on. But when I finally gave up on Meades and her people, and saw another Ophthalmologist, Dr Ross Fitzsimons, Dr Fitzsimons solved my problems in a brief consultation which cost less than $150. Firstly, he told me that the practical problems of my double vision could be solved by having prisms in my glasses,  (not mentioned by Meades or any of her people,) and when I got prisms in my glasses it was like a miracle, it was as though I no longer had the double vision. And secondly, by telling me that, if I was concerned that my double vision could be caused by anything serious, I could have an MRI of my brain, which I did, and it was clear.

The differences between my experiences with Dr Meades and Dr Fitzsimons couldn’t have been more extreme.

Thinking that I had a basis for a complaint about Meades, I lodged a complaint with Sue Dawson and her people at the NSW Health Care Complaints Commission.

When the Commission sought a response from Meades to my complaint, although the Commission never releases copies of these responses, it’s obvious that Meades told lie after lie after lie.

In a direct response to our reader she wrote:-

This, when, in a recent consultation with a proper Ophthalmologist, I was told that I still didn’t need cataracts surgery, 11 years later!!!

Typically, not only was I told, after my initial complaint, that I had no basis to complain, but after a review into this decision was held, at my request, I was told again that I had no basis to complain.

As you can see, if you click on this link, you can see what Ms Dawson herself wrote in full, including that, “Two doctors having different opinions or action plans about a patient doesn’t mean that either practitioner’s conduct is unreasonable.”


I was flabbergasted. The  only “action plan” Meades and her people seemed to have was to keep me in their rooms for as long as possible, telling me as little as possible, so they could get more and more money from me.

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The NSW Health Care Complaints Commission in general 5

An email just, on 18/4/21, sent to Sue Dawson. the Health Care Complaints Commissioner, by one of our readers. As any one who has dealt with Ms Dawson would know, if they use what appears to be her email address – – to send her emails, they only end up with automated responses indicating that they’ve sent her AN email, never with proof that they’ve sent her any particular email – a totally unsatisfactory situation, which will obviously continue while we, the people of New South Wales and the Berejiklian Government, continue to put up with it! In an attempt to deal with this situation, we always encourage our readers to use the ordinary email address of one of her officers to send copies of such emails, as we have on this occasion – at least, if this is done, readers end up with proof that a particular email has been sent to someone in the HCCC. At least, so far – knowing Dawson as we do, emails sent to him will probably start resulting in only receiving automated responses as well!

Ms Sue Dawson

Health Care Complaints Commissioner

Dear Commissioner

I would be obliged if you could arrange for the Commission’s decision to dismiss the complaint I lodged about Dr Andrew J Brooks, Urologist, to be reviewed.

There’s a sense in which the facts of this matter, on which I based my complaint, are incredibly simple.

As a 78 year old, I was referred to Brooks for help with a problem I was experiencing, described as the “frequency problem,” common in seniors – during the night, I was having to get up 2 or 3 times to urinate, which made it difficult to get a good night’s sleep. And not only did the operation under a full anaesthetic which he recommended, called a TURP, and which I underwent, not help in any way, (I would have still had it exactly the same years later if I hadn’t got help from another doctor,) but it damaged me, severely diminishing my sex life for the rest of my life, it is always happens with TURPs, ALWAYS, and can’t be reversed!

Brooks’ explanation for my “frequency problem” was  that my bladder had become muscular and therefor smaller from years of having to force urine past partial blockages in my urinary tract, down to a capacity of about 200 mls, forcing me to urinate more often as it was full more often. That the claim that the capacity of my bladder was down to 200 mls was an absolute LIE would seem to have been established by the fact that at least 10 requests for copies of any of the results of his tests which would confirm this have been sent to Brooks, by email, email form, fax, and Australia Post, copies to which I’m entitled by law under the Health Records and Information Privacy Act 2002 No 71, all of which Brooks hasn’t even acknowledged, let alone responded to. When I sought the help of the NSW Privacy Commissioner to get any such copies, he told her that he hadn’t been getting any of my emails, because the email address on his website was set up so that it “weeded out” emails from his patients so he didn’t get them??? (What sort of doctor would even contemplate setting up any email addresses he has in that way, let alone doing it?)- something which my technical advisers tell me isn’t possible, and when I sent him an email asking for details as to how best to pay him his $3,200 fee it was acknowledged and responded with alacrity, and even when he had to acknowledge he’d received them, he still didn’t provide any copies. In effect, Brooks just laughed in the Privacy Commissioner’s face??? And he’s such a “crook” that breaking the law would be the least of his worries. It would appear elementary that there is no evidence to back up his claim – although, again, Brooks is such a “crook” that he may well, now, fabricate some, and present them to your Commission, just as he’s obviously fabricated the copies of any letters he’s claimed, in his 10 Feb. 2021 letter to the Commission, to have sent me, because I’ve only ever received one – the one about how best to send him his $3,200 fee.

Brooks went on to claim that, during his TURP, these partial blockages would be removed, and that, as a result, my bladder would be back to a more normal size, say, with a capacity of about 330 mls, largely within 6 months for so, and that this would ensure that I no longer had the “frequency problem.” The problem about this for Brooks was that, 8 months later, it was independently certified by another Urologist, that it then DID have a capacity of 33o mls, but I still had the frequency problem??? Strongly indicating, I would have thought, that this claim was another absolute lie.

As I learnt later, the most likely explanation for all this was that that my bladder always had a relatively normal capacity of about 330 mls, even when I first saw Brooks, but it had become weak, again something common in seniors, too weak to empty properly during urinations, so there was always quite a lot of urine left in it after I’d urinated, and that this was the reason why it was full more often. But the problem about this explanation for Brooks was that nothing could/can be done about weak bladders, and so he had to make up his fairly tales about it being small and so on to justify recommending the TURP, for which he would get $3,200 for less than an hour’s work in carrying it out.

Most people would think that Brooks was nothing short of  EVIL – for deliberately setting out to carry out treatment which he knew full well, in advance, would leave me damaged for life, and which he knew full well, in advance, wouldn’t help me in any way with my frequency problem, unless my bladder was small, when he’s always refused to provide copies of anything which might indicate that it was – just so he could get his greedy hands on $3,200 for less than an hour’s work. But the person or people in your Commission who dismissed my complaint were obviously comfortable with it, advising that, “We have not identified a deficiency in the clinical care and treatment provided to you by Dr Brooks???”

But perhaps the explanation for my complaint being dismissed is that the Commission has taken the view that I have no basis to complain in that I was properly warned, that, amongst other things, I would inevitably be damaged life, and that there was only an 80% chance that I would be helped in any way, with nothing in writing, of course, but that I still chose to go ahead with Brooks’ clinical care and treatment!!!

(By the way, Brooks was the one who claimed that there was always only an 80% chance of his clinical care and treatment working – when, on the basis of the above, there was NO CHANCE!!!)
(Recently, with another doctor, I was required to confirm in writing that all sorts of things had been explained to me, when all I was about to have was treatment for wax in one of my ears! – which I would have thought was what more normally happens. With Brooks, he didn’t require anything in writing from me when he was about to damage me for life!!! And for the Commission it seems it was/is good enough that Brooks had written to my GP, “I have explained the risks and complications.”)
In his letter to the Commission dated 10 February, 2021, Dr Brooks says, “I would usually discuss the alterations to sexual function and the loss of ejaculation” – in other words it appears that even Brooks doesn’t claim that he DID discuss them. But it seems that this hasn’t stopped the Commission from postulating that Brooks DID properly explain all the risks and complications, including the alterations to sexual function and the loss of ejacultaion, and the fact that there was only an 80% chance, or perhaps no chance, that his clinical care and treatment would help in any way, and that my response was something like,”I don’t care if my sex life is largely ruined for the rest of my life, so long as there’s a chance that I won’t have to get up 2 or 3 times a night to go to the toilet.” In other words, that although I’m highly educated, having topped my year at Law School, and having two other University degrees, as well as my Law degree, that I’m really STARK RAVING MAD!!!
To me, there can only be one explanation for many of the aspects of how Brooks has conducted himself in this matter – and that is that there have been others who’ve had experiences with similar to mine, perhaps exactly like mine, surely I can’t be the only one, and that when they’ve made complaints to your Commission like mine, they have been dismissed as well, filling him with confidence that mine will be completely dismissed as well, leaving him free to collect quick $3,200 fees from others as well.
Looking forward to hearing from you.
Yours faithfully
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The Committee on the Health Care Complaints Commission in action 1

More or less since it was established, in June, 2019, we have been aware of the existence of a committee called the Committee on the Health Care Complaints Commission, made up of  Members of the Parliament of New South Wales.

This is what’s said about it.

Here’s a list of it’s members:-

We’ve been flabbergasted to learn, only today, that Ms Sue Dawson, who had been the HCCC’s CEO since December, 2015, was, in October, 2020, granted a further 5 year term, when her track record was/is so atrocious, to put it mildly – and you would think that this committee would have had a significant hand in this, in which case, we’d think, they’ve lost all credibility!!! Surely there would have been others that could have been appointed that had better credentials than Ms Dawson’s.

We’ve just, on 14 Apr. 2021, sent Gurmesh Singh, MP, the Committee’s chair, a copy of this post. We’ll let you know, readers, if he responds in any way.

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The Reward Systems for Health Care Workers in NSW

Many years ago we came across a book called, “How to Motivate People,” which is all about what the author, Michael Le Boeuf, Ph. D. calls, “the greatest management principle in the world” – “THE THINGS THAT GET REWARDED GET DONE.”

To us the greatest concern about the way Commissioner Sue Dawson and her people at the NSW Health Care Complaints Commission are running things, (and have been running things for more than 5 years, and may be running things for the next 5 years, as in October, 2020, Dawson was appointed for another 5 year term,) has resulted in a “reward system” in New South Wales under which doctors who are “crooks” are doing better, making more money, and so on, than the “good guys,” – this, when it’s often not only better, but easier, to be a “crook” than a “good guy.”

As a perfect example of this, one of our readers claims that when, some years ago, he described certain health problems he was having in an email to A/Prof. Paul Sved, Urologist, (he was having to get up 2 or 3 times a night to go to the toilet, often described as the “frequency problem,”) Dr Sved responded with, “There is often no need for surgical procedures in order to overcome the symptoms you are describing.” And that when he described the same symptoms to A/Prof. Andrew J Brooks, Urologist, Brooks recommended and carried out a surgical procedure, (our reader says it was one of the worst mistakes in his life to go with Brooks,) a surgical procedure for which Brooks got $3,200 for less than an hours work, and which, incidentally, didn’t help our reader in any way.

Readers, guess who, right now, right before our eyes, would be making more money out of “helping” (ha! ha! ha!, ha! ha! ha!) people suffering from the “frequency problem.” Incidentally, our reader claims that when he lodged a complaint about Brooks with the HCCC, he was told, typically, that he had nothing to complain about! A further indication that, in New South Wales, doctors know that, no matter what they do, they don’t have to be concerned that any of their patients might lodge a complaint about them with the HCCC. If they don’t, they’re dumb.

The biggest concern about this, of course, is that there may be “good guys” out there, right now, right before our eyes, thinking, “Perhaps I need to, perhaps I have to, start being an Andrew Brooks.”

Readers, we need to realise that under Health Care Complaints Commissioners like Sue  Dawson, and under Governments like the Berejiklian Government, there are industries in New South Wales in which it’s participants have to be “crooks” to survive, and that all the indications are that there may be health care industries like that.

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Health Care Complaints Commissioner, Sue Dawson – in general

Many years ago we were given this advice – “If you want to know what someone’s like, get them to put something in writing.” (These days, it’s, “Just send them an email.”)

There are times when just one piece of writing tells you all you’d ever want to know about someone. To us this letter received from Ms Dawson, herself, is a perfect example of this.

It’s background is that one of our readers had lodged a complaint with Ms Dawson and her people about a Dr Kerrie Meades, Ophthalmologist – he claimed he’d been referred to her for help with his developing double vision, but that he’d spent 3 or 4 hours in her rooms at a cost of hundreds of dollars, and learnt nothing.

Our reader says he could write a book about his experiences with his double vision, but that one thing in particular had made him angry – that someone in Meades’ rooms should have told him in the first 5 minutes about how prisms in his glasses would solve the practical problem of his double vision, that, in fact he was never told about them in the whole 3 or 4 hours – they, in particular Meades, were too busy telling him that the causes of his double vision could be extremely serious, requiring “extensive investigation,” obviously so that he would spend more and more time with them, at the cost of more and more dollars, and that, as a result of this negligence, he spent many extra months/years being a danger to himself and others on the road when he was driving a car, during which he could have had an accident and nearly did, perhaps even a fatal accident.

Eventually, when he gave up on Meades and her people, he saw another Ophthalmologist, Dr Ross Fitzsimons, and he DID tell him in the first five minutes about prisms in his glasses and when he got them, it was as though he didn’t have double visionl, as though he was in his 40s and 50s again. AND Dr Fitzsimons also told him straight away that if he wanted to remove the possibility that his double vision was caused by anything serious, he could have an MRI of his brain which he did, and it was clear.

But, as you can see from her letter, after the Commission had both considered our reader’s complaint  and dismissed it, and then considered it again in a review, Ms Dawson, herself, considered there was no real basis  for thinking Meades’ help had been in  way inferior to Dr Fitzsimons’ help – “Two doctors having different opinions or action plans about a patient does not mean that that either practitioner’s conduct is unreasonable.” And that there was certainly no basis to complain about Meades’ conduct.

How could anyone of any intelligence write anything like this??? Or perhaps she’s subject to heavy inducements to write things like this, the nature of which we don’t understand???

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The NSW Health Care Complaints Commission – dealing with, in general 4

If “NSW Health Care Complaints Commission” is Googled, the results show that there are 44 Google reviews on it averaging 1.4 stars out of 5 – this when Google requires that at least 1 star is  given, when so many who provide 1 star express the wish that they can’t provide zero stars, when they can’t.

This, when it seems that no one cares, least of all, anyone in the Berejiklian Government or the “boss” at the HCCC, Commissioner Sue Dawson.

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Premier Berejiklian – dealing with

We’ve just, on 12/4/21, sent Premier Berejiklian a copy of this post – “for her information and comment.”

We suspect that all the emails we’ve sent her – and there have been many – seeking to raise issues that we think are significant, particularly about NSW Health and the NSW Health Care Complaints Commission, have gone straight into the trash. They may as well have – we’ve never heard anything from her.

Perhaps she thinks there are no votes in these issues – and perhaps she’s right? We’ve had precious few indications that we, the people, care about them either – even though our health and welfare, even our lives, can be at stake. Perhaps we think that it’s fanciful to think anything can be done about them – that it’s too much to think that anything can be changed?

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