Medical treatments can vary widely across different hospitals, even when they are in the same city. The ‘nuts and bolts’ of patient care is not standardised. These differences are referred to among patient advocate groups as ‘unacceptable variations in care’.
A surgeon with a severe drug addiction was allowed to operate on patients. After being banned from a public hospitals he was allowed to continue practising neurosurgery while high on cocaine, in a private hospital nearby.
There is a small but dangerous number of people working in aged and disabilities services, who abuse their elderly and frail residents. This is a painful but important issue to discuss.
When the young journalist Keith Murdoch arrived in Gallipoli in September 1915, he was shocked by the incompetence of the British officers and the senseless loss of young Australians life.
A working class woman was bustled out of the public hospital, even though she was confused about the treatment of her stage IV cancer. "We need the bed" the nurse told her as she was shown the door.
Most people expect that pregnancy would be treated with great caution and any drugs prescribed during this period would be carefully vetted for side effects. Think again.
In the normal commercial world, private enterprise is reasonably transparent about cost and quality. However, in private healthcare there is no transparency about cost and quality. So bad services remain open, along with good ones.
Rheumatic heart disease has been wiped out in most parts of the developed world. However at least 3,000 people in the Northern Territory alone are being treated for this terrible disease. The overwhelming majority of them are Aboriginal.
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