13 Feb 2017

GP censured for failing cancer sufferer

5:03 pm on 13 February 2017

The Health and Disability Commissioner has censured a family doctor who failed to adequately refer his patient to hospital after symptoms suggesting his cancer was back.

doctor generic hospital

Photo: 123RF

The 62-year-old patient was treated for cancer of the oesophagus.

Six months later, the man's condition worsened. He asked his GP for a scan.

The GP sent the request without disclosing the man's symptoms. The hospital lost the referral letter.

A month later, he returned with new symptoms. Again, the GP sent a referral without any indication of them.

When the man did receive a scan, it showed the cancer was back.

A laparoscopy was scheduled, but the cancer meant the surgeon could not complete the procedure.

The man never regained consciousness.

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