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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