Dr Kiran Phadke, an oncologist and haematologist who worked at the St George and Sutherland Hospitals in Sydney, was suspended in June this year after a nurse flagged the possibility of Dr. Phadke having treated his cancer patients incorrectly.
An internal investigation was initiated by the hospital and Dr Phadke was asked to respond to these allegations by August 5th.
However, before Dr Phadke submitted his statement, NSW Health Minister Jillian Skinner told a press conference on August 2 that an external investigation had found three of Dr Phadke’s patients had been affected by his choice of treatments.
Today, Dr Phadke has spoken out for the first time about his ordeal.
Speaking to , Sydney-based Dr Phadke said that when he was announced as a bad practitioner by the Health Minister without getting a chance to defend himself, he felt as if, he had “life ripped from me in a heartbeat”.
“I have been cast adrift by my employer of over 35 years without a word. There is no chance to answer your accuser, to properly prepare or defend yourself,” Dr Phadke told The Australian.
“This could happen to anyone in the public health system. What this means is that in five years, 10 years, or more, anybody in the health system can get a tap on the shoulder and be interrogated about their patient histories and publicly vilified.”
EXTERNAL REVIEW FOUND DR PHADKE INCORRECTLY TREATED HIS PATIENTS
Gerry Marr, the chief executive of the South Eastern Sydney Local Health District, the reviews of Dr Phadke’s practice “showed that in a small number of cases the treatment plan provided was not the most suitable.
“The reviews found that patients could have been offered alternative treatment, including different chemotherapy regimes and/or the offer of radiotherapy or stem cell transplant,” he said.
However, former chairman of the St George Hospital’s surgery department, Dr Kevin Hanel said that the investigation had reviewed only hospital notes and had not taken into consideration notes from Dr Phadke’s rooms or from other hospitals where his patients were later treated.
He told it was “deplorable” Ms Skinner had “crucified someone based on such a flawed process” and without a response to these allegations from Dr Phadke.
FORMER PATIENTS HAVE COME OUT IN SUPPORT
While Dr Phadke is being investigated for under-dosing his three cancer patients, several of his patients have stood up for him and spoken out in his support.
Former Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) chief scientist Professor Barry Allen has told the ABC he was treated for multiple myeloma by Dr Phadke and had nothing but praise for him.
"I would have no problem recommending Dr Phadke to anybody else," Professor Allen said.
"I have every confidence in his judgement and the way he talks to his patients."
Letters of support flooded in for Dr Phadke. Here’s a snapshot of one of those letters. (Source: )
Source: The leader
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