The HCCC and a complaint about A/Prof Andrew Brooks, Urologist 1

Briefly, a patient, Mr XXX, was referred to A/Prof. Brooks, Urologist, for help with what is called “the frequency problem,” common in seniors – he was having to get up 2 or 3 times a night to urinate which made it harder to get a good night’s sleep.

The diagnosis Brooks pitched to the patient was that the patient’s bladder had become muscular, and therefore smaller, from years of forcing urine past partial blockages in his urinary tract, down from a more normal capacity of 400 mls or more, to a capacity of about 200 mls or less, and this was the reason he was having to urinate more often.

On the basis of this diagnosis, he recommended to the patient was that he undergo what is called a TURP operation in which the partial blockages would be removed, saying to the patient that if this was carried out, his bladder would be back largely back to a more normal size within 3 months, certainly within 6 months, and he would no longer have the frequency problem.

But after he carried it out, at a cost of more than 6,000 dollars, even after Medicare rebates, for Brooks’ fee of $3,200 for less than an hours work and the hospital charges for 2 days in hospital, nothing had changed, that, as Brooks admitted himself in writing, the patient still had the frequency problem exactly the same!

AND as an inevitable consequence of the TURP, the patient was deprived of the considerable pleasure that is normally experienced by men during sexual intercourse when their semen is ejected though their penis – that no longer happens, the semen just goes up into the bladder – it doesn’t just happen sometimes, it ALWAYS happens, and it’s for life, it can’t be reversed.

Subsequently, about 8 months later, Mr XXX consulted another Urologist, Dr AAA, who advised him that his bladder was then of a relatively normal size, explaining it with graphs and so on – but he still had the frequency problem??? This, when Brooks had promised his patient that if he underwent the treatment he was recommending, his bladder would, within 6 months or so, be of a more normal size, and that if this happened he would no longer have the frequency problem. Dr AAA went on to explain that the frequency problem is normally caused by the fact that as patients get older, or for whatever reason, their bladders become too weak to empty properly during urination, perhaps remaining up to half full after urination, and that this is the reason for the frequency problem – and that nothing can be done to make weak bladders strong again. Which raises the probability that when XXX first consulted Brooks, that this was the position with his bladder – it was relatively normal in size, but weak. In other words, it could, perhaps, be alleged that Brooks’ patient had undergone an operation under a full anaesthetic, which always has it’s risks, had spent two uncomfortable days in hospital, had incurred expenditure of over six thousand dollars, and had been damaged for life – ALL FOR NOTHING!!! 

It’s hard to imagine a more serious allegation!

(If a thug in the street bashed up someone, a side effect of which being that that someone was damaged for life in the way Brooks had damaged his patient, one could imagine them being sent to gaol – perhaps for very long time.)

Of course, Brooks could easily counter any allegations like this. How? By producing the evidence that lead him to claim that, when he first saw the patient, his bladder was, in fact, small and muscular. But SO many requests, over the years, for him to produce this evidence have been ignored. The patient is entitled to copies of this evidence by law, and he says he’s even sought the assistance of the NSW Privacy Commissioner to get it – but Brooks has taken no notice.

One aspect of this is that Brooks got his nurse to carry out the tests to establish the size of the patients’s bladder, (for which, the patient claims, he was charged more than a properly qualified urologist would have charged,) and at some stage the question as to how much trust is to be placed in the results produced by a nurse may arise.

Why have we set out all this information? Because it’s recently all been presented to the NSW Health Care Complaints Commission in a formal complaint about Dr Brooks, and, in case our readers haven’t realised it, on the HCCC’s track record, it will probably all come to nothing, will probably turn out to have been a complete waste for time and effort. Commissioner Sue Dawson and her people are geniuses at finding ways, in their minds at least, to end up telling people who make complaints like this, that they have nothing to complain about. In a sense, we can’t wait to see what they come up with, with this complaint. It should be fun! Brooks will tell lies and lies and lies, none of which will be made available to the complainant, certainly before the HCCC has made it’s decision, if ever, it will be dismissed initially, with an invitation to have the decision reviewed, and in the review it will be dismissed again. And do you know what? The senior people in our Government, from Premier Berejiklian downwards will agree with the decision, and won’t entertain for a nanosecond any thought that Sue Dawson shouldn’t keep her job. We’ll see.

P.S: Things seem to be getting worse and worse – more and more farcical, more and more comical.

Two days ago, as subscribers to receive copies of media releases from the HCCC, we got a media release about how a complaint about Breanna Ford, a 23 year old nurse, was dealt with.(Incidentally, Breanna had already ceased to be a nurse, and perhaps was unlikely to seek to ever be a nurse again.) The complaint? – that Breanna, while working as a nurse, had stolen 2 prescription pads and used them to forge 8 prescriptions. A big deal, huh! If you use this link, you will be taken to such a long report on the proceedings of a full investigation before 4 senior members of the New South Wales Civil and Administrative Tribunal! In contrast, with the complaint against Brooks, what is likely to happen is that all his lies, (of which the complainant will never get a copy,) will be read at the administrative level, and that will be it, end of story – the complainant will be told that he has nothing to complain about.

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