SA govt accused of chemo cover-up

An Adelaide cancer patient who was given an incorrect chemotherapy dose believes health authorities may have destroyed his medical records.


Andrew Knox, 66, is one of 10 patients at the Royal Adelaide Hospital and Flinders Medical Centre who were under-dosed between July 2014 and January last year because of a typographical error.

“There’s not a single record that reflects the actual dose that I purportedly received … something’s not right,” he told reporters in Adelaide on Thursday.

“The authority to give me prescriptions in the doses no longer exists.

“Whether that was destroyed or it never existed, I think is almost one and the same … there’s this cavalier attitude to records.”

Eight clinicians have been referred to the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) over the dosing scandal, which an inquiry blamed on a typographical error.

AHPRA will report its findings to the Medical Board of Australia, which could take disciplinary action – including suspension or deregistration – if adverse conduct is discovered.

The inquiry also found staff at the hospitals failed to disclose the mistakes to patients or management.

Mr Knox, whose leukemia is in induced remission, said he was concerned given his condition that the AHPRA investigation could take up to 12 months.

He has backed calls from the state Liberal opposition for a judicial inquiry into management of patient records.

The issue has come to the fore amid revelations more than 20 SA medical staff were caught snooping on patient files, including records related to the son of slain Adelaide Crows coach Phil Walsh.

Thirteen clinicians, including doctors and nurses, were formally disciplined after they inappropriately accessed the medical records of Cy Walsh following the death of his father last year.

Walsh, 27, was taken to Flinders Medical Centre in Adelaide for tests following his father’s death and was later charged with the 55-year-old’s murder.

Health Minister Jack Snelling revealed on Wednesday that a further eight clinicians had been disciplined for inappropriately accessing the records of other patients over the past 12 months.

Two had been dismissed, while the rest received formal warnings, after an audit of patient records sparked an investigation.

Southern Adelaide health network chief Belinda Moyes later denied that any health records of Mr Knox had been destroyed.

“I can confirm his full record is available at Flinders Medical Centre and available for Mr Knox to view at any time,” Prof Moyes said in a statement late on Thursday.

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