A doctor, just like other professionals, owes you duty of care when you receive medical treatment. When this duty of care is breached, you can suffer physical and psychological harm which can give rise to a claim for compensation.
Medical regulators also have a responsibility to ensure that the general public is being protected, in particular, in circumstances where there are reports of multiple or serious complaints against a health professional.
When Maria Robertson* went to the Croydon Day Surgery for a procedure, she expected that she’d be treated by competent medical professionals. So when she saw in the media months later that there had been a wave of women contracting Hepatitis C at the Croydon Day Surgery, she felt disbelief.
As a result Maria undertook testing for Hepatitis C and was subsequently diagnosed with the virus. Maria was then treated for the virus, in an effort to cure her. Throughout the treatment, she couldn’t quite shake the feeling that what had happened to her was unfair and had to be prevented from happening again.
Maria joined 60 other women in a class action run by Slater and Gordon Lawyers seeking damages for their pain and suffering, medical and out-of-pocket expenses, and economic losses, from Croydon Hospital Pty Ltd (the corporate entity of the Croydon Day Surgery), Dr Mark Schulberg, the proprietor of the clinic, and the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency, the successor in law to the Medical Practitioners Board of Victoria, which was responsible for the registration and regulation of doctors in Victoria during the relevant period.
The class action is believed to be the first time that a personal injury class action was lodged against a medical regulator in Australia. The class action settled for $13.75 million.
Slater and Gordon is passionate about helping women like Maria and is currently investigating a class action against Dr Gayed and the New South Wales medical regulators to assist women who have suffered physical or psychological harm following treatment from Dr Gayed.
New report raises concerns
In November 2018, Gail Furness released a report regarding the conduct of the New South Wales Medical Council and New South Wales Medical Board, in response to complaints made about former gyaecologist and obstetrician, Dr Emil Gayed. For the experienced litigators at Slater and Gordon Lawyers, the report raised concerns about the conduct of the medical regulators.
Andrew Baker, Practice Group Leader, who worked to secure the settlement in the Hepatitis C class action and is currently leading the team investigating a potential claim against New South Wales medical regulators and Dr Gayed, said
In a situation like this where there are more than 40 complaints against one doctor, it is important to investigate the misconduct of the doctor involved, but this situation also raises serious questions around our system of regulation and oversight of the healthcare profession. What we have heard from the women affected is that complaints weren’t addressed and questionable conduct was ignored, or not followed up, and the result has been life-changing for some of Dr Gayed’s former patients.
Register your details
If you or anyone who you know was a patient of Dr Gayed, our experienced class actions team may be able to assist. You can register your contact details here or you can contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or (03) 9602 6840 for a free consultation about your rights.
* Name changed to protect the identity of the victim.