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Queensland government calls for inquiry into cancer screening

Photo: Call for inquiry into Qld cancer screening
Claims that about 1000 Queensland patients may have been misdiagnosed in cancer screenings dating back to 2012 have prompted a government investigation.

The Queensland government says it will investigate how about 1000 patients may have been misdiagnosed during cancer screenings.

Concerns were first raised in 2017 after 14 patients who were all screened by the same surgeon returned with forms of cancer.

The issue surrounds how a surgeon screened patients at Redland Hospital, south of Brisbane, for bowel cancer dating back to 2012.

However Queensland Health director-general John Wakefield said it could not be confirmed if any cancers of the 14 patients could be linked to the surgeon's screening.
The matter was not reported to Queensland Health authorities until December.

It was dealt with in-house by the Metro South Hospital and Health Service, who suspended the surgeon's credentials in May 2018.

Dr Wakefield said he was concerned about how long it took Metro South to notify Queensland Health of the issue.

"We don't know at this stage, and it would not be right for me to speculate, what anybody's rationale was," he said.

Queensland Health Minister Steven Miles said once the group of about 1000 patients were re-examined, an investigation will be undertaken.

Deputy opposition leader Tim Mander says he is concerned it took 15 months for Queensland Health to be notified and has called for an inquiry into the issue.

"We need to know how this happened in the first place and to make sure it never happens again," Mr Mander said.

"There are real concerns there seems to be a culture of secrecy."

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