16 Sep 2013

GP was negligent says HDC

3:52 pm on 16 September 2013

The Health and Disability commissioner has found a GP failed to reasonably care for a patient, who was subsequently diagnosed with advanced bowel cancer after complaining to her doctor over a four year period.

The patient presented with bowel symptoms at least three times between 2008 to 2012 and was initially diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome.

The Commissioner's report says the woman felt her GP had "fobbed her off" and asked to see another GP at the practice, who the referred her to a local general surgeon where she was diagnosed with cancer.

Commissioner Anthony Hill says it's particularly concerning the GP missed several opportunities to further investigate the patient's ongoing symptoms, especially since she was over the age of 40.

He has asked the GP to write an apology to the patient and undertake an audit of her patients' clinical records to identify those that need follow ups.