Source: MIL-OSI Submissions
Source: Health and Disability Commissioner
Health and Disability Commissioner Anthony Hill today released a report finding a general practitioner (GP) in breach of the Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers’ Rights for failing to provide appropriate care to a woman in her eighties who saw him for post-menopausal bleeding.
When the woman first saw the GP for the bleeding, he considered she had a bacterial infection. Although he said he tried to examine the woman using a speculum, he did not record attempting a speculum examination in his notes. The woman returned to the GP two months later. Although the GP examined her with a speculum, he did not take other appropriate steps including performing a cervical smear. Another GP eventually diagnosed the woman with a cervical tumour.
Anthony Hill considered that the GP failed to document attempting a speculum examination at the first appointment. At the second appointment, the GP failed to visualise the woman’s cervix, to complete a bimanual examination and cervical smear, or to refer the woman for a transvaginal ultrasound.
“I am critical that [the GP] failed to complete any of these steps,” Mr Hill said. “His failure to do so could well have delayed the diagnosis and, consequently, the treatment of [the woman’s] cervical cancer.”
Mr Hill recommended that the Medical Council of New Zealand consider whether a review of the GP’s competence was warranted, and that the GP apologise to the woman.
The full report for case 19HDC01086 is available on the HDC website.