Posted on 10 Jan, 2022 in
Canberra GP Loses Negligence Case for Failing to Follow Up on Patient’s Referral.
In a recent legal case that has caught the attention of the medical community, a Canberra GP was found negligent and ordered to pay $184,645 in damages for failing to follow up on a surgical referral for a patient with a chronic foot infection. The GP first saw the patient in 2013 when they presented with a hard and sore lump on the plantar surface of their right foot.
The case has raised questions about whether GPs have a legal duty to track patients languishing on waitlists. The original judgement handed down in 2021 suggested that there was a medico-legal obligation for GPs to follow up on referrals. However, the GP accused of failing to follow up on the patient’s surgical referral overturned the $190,000 negligence ruling against him on appeal. The ACT Court of Appeal found that the events were merely “the normal operation of an overstretched health system”.
This case highlights the importance of communication and follow-up between GPs and specialists when it comes to patient care. It also raises questions about the role of the healthcare system in ensuring timely access to care for patients.