John West says he will never go to Bundaberg Hospital again.
John West says he will never go to Bundaberg Hospital again. Max Fleet

Patient 'released too early'

A BARGARA man has claimed he was discharged too early after routine annual surgery at Bundaberg Hospital, requiring him to return the next day in acute pain.

John West, a retired electronics engineer with an ongoing medical condition, said he would be reluctant to return to the hospital for treatment after the latest in what he described as a series of bungles at the public health facility.

Mr West, 85, told the News-Mail he had an operation to remove small tumours in his bladder on April 27 this year - a procedure he has undergone annually for the past few years.

The difference was that this time around he was discharged the day after the operation.

"Normally I would have stayed in hospital for three days to recover," Mr West said.

But following his release, the elderly man said he was in so much agony that he had to catch a taxi back to the hospital - at Queensland Health's expense - for further treatment for the pain.

Mr West, who went through the Blitz in London during the Second World War as a teenager, said over the years he had had both good and bad experiences at the hospital.

He reserved his highest praise for the emergency department.

"I was very happy with the people in the emergency department - the doctors and nurses in there are great," Mr West said.

Dr Tim Smart, Wide Bay Health Service's executive director of medical services, said Mr West had not agreed to provide them with signed consent to be able to discuss his medical records.

"This removes our ability to add balance to these allegations and set the public record straight," Dr Smart said.

Mr West has complained about other issues in the past - including that a medical intern had tried to pressure him into having his bladder removed rather than undergoing the annual surgeries - which were investigated by the state's Health Quality and Complaints Commission.

"The HQCC investigation showed there was no evidence to support the allegations and the treatment provided to the patient was appropriate and reasonable," Dr Smart said.

"If the patient has any additional complaints, I urge him to contact our Patient Liaison Service, where they will be fully investigated."



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