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.”
IT’S ABSOLUTE RUBBISH.
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.