A doctor accused of botching up to four surgeries in a public hospital hasn’t had his registration revoked, meaning he can still work privately.
The South American surgeon who trained in Spain has been stood down from Rockhampton Hospital and is said to have botched at least four surgeries.
He allegedly misdiagnosed a twisted testicle causing it to ultimately be removed, took a patient’s right kidney instead of the diseased left one, nicked another’s artery and incorrectly positioned a stent.
Rockhampton Hospital’s director of surgery and the acting executive director of medical services have both been sacked over the allegations.
While the Central Queensland Hospital and Health Service (CQHHS) Board stood down all three, the doctor is still free to work in private hospitals.
An Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency spokeswoman said the watchdog and the Medical Board of Australia were still considering whether to revoke the urologist’s registration.
“We will now review this as a priority, so we can assess the risk and decide what action to take to protect the public,” she told AAP in a statement.
He practises at the Mater Misericordiae Hospital in Rockhampton but has agreed to immediately suspend his work and had not performed any major surgeries there since April 29.
Hospital executive officer Peter Comerford said the doctor has worked privately at the Mater since 2011 and treated more than 800 patients.
“A review of these cases has not revealed any unusual or concerning clinical outcomes,” Mr Comerford said in a statement.
The doctor was also a visiting medical officer at Hillcrest Rockhampton Private Hospital, but chief executive Tracey Wust told AAP he was on leave and she was unsure whether he would return.
The allegations follow the high-profile case of former Bundaberg surgeon Jayant Patel, who forced a change to the way foreign-trained doctors in Queensland were hired after being accused of grievous bodily harm of patients.
Rockhampton MP Bill Byrne said Queensland Health had not learned from the Patel saga.
“It’s simply not acceptable to anybody that these sorts of mistakes can be made in the system,” he said.
“There should be red flags flying in all quarters of Queensland Health.”
Opposition health spokeswoman Jo-Ann Miller said Health Minister Lawrence Springborg should name the doctor because the Rockhampton public had a right to know.
Health service board chairman Charles Ware said there was a systemic issue at the hospital and there would be a broad-ranging review of patient safety systems.
A separate review will also look at specific incidents involving the doctor.
The Health Quality and Complaints Commission will also investigate.
The doctor completed two years of additional training in Australia before being accredited here in 2011.
He worked at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital and the Nambour General Hospital before moving to Rockhampton.