Concerned father talks to Member for Burnett Rob Messenger about his daughter’s dental care at Bundaberg Hospital.
Concerned father talks to Member for Burnett Rob Messenger about his daughter’s dental care at Bundaberg Hospital. CLEMENTINE NORTON

Parents in dark over health bungle

A BUNDABERG father is demanding answers after Queensland Health told his 15-year-old daughter she was at risk of HIV and hepatitis C after the recent dental health bungle — despite the fact she was a minor still living at home.

“They should have told me or her mum. She kept on telling them she didn’t understand,” he said.

The man did not want his name used to protect the identity of his daughter because he was terrified of the stigma which could be associated with the diseases.

Initial tests by the girl’s GP returned negative, but she must wait 12 weeks for the final all-clear.

The angry dad slated Queensland Health for a “complete lack of communication”.

“We read in the news that the patients had been given the all-clear, days before we heard it from Queensland Health,” he said.

“I just want an independent investigation so they can make sure it never happens again,” he said.

Sunshine Coast Wide Bay Health Service district executive officer Kevin Hegarty said Queensland Health had no policy about relaying medical information to patients under 18 years.

“The clinical practice within Queensland Health is governed by the patient’s level of understanding, maturity, the nature of the treatment and other issues,” Mr Hegarty said.

He said clinicians always tried to explain the situation and treatment options to parents or guardians of patients under 18.

Member for Burnett Rob Messenger called for a Royal Commission to investigate and $5000 compensation for each patient.

A spokeswoman for Minister for Health Paul Lucas said the issue was referred to the Crime and Misconduct Commission, the Health Quality and Complaints Commission and the Dental Board, and Queensland Health commissioned an external consultant for a review.

“(Mr Lucas) is currently on leave, but the matter of compensation is one appropriately determined by the courts and only after the investigations are complete,” she said.



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