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"Misdiagnosis causes depression and anxiety."

About: Concord Repatriation General Hospital / Palliative Care Westmead Hospital / Oncology

(as a friend),

A relative had Breast Cancer.  She got treatment overseas and was well for a year.  Recently she had backache and went to see an Oncologist at Westmead Hospital who told her she had Breast Cancer stage 4 and would die in 3 months.

3 months later she was admitted to Concord Hospital Palliative Care Centre and was told by another Oncologist that she has lesion but, with treatment could live easily for another 10 years.

This misdiagnosis caused: depression, anxiety, loss of appetite, stress, financial burdens for the patient. Around 20 friends and family were stressed for 3 months and her child put their academic semester on hold. She flew overseas twice to find a cure and wasted a lot of money.

There is a difference between telling someone they will die in 90 days and telling them there is treatment and they will live for 10 years. There is no cure for her backbone (weakened due to radiation) but there is certainly treatment for her.

The patient wishes not to complain or sue as she thinks her care will be affected if the Westmead Oncologist gets to know. So my question, patients have to suffer a misdiagnosis and then keep quiet because they are afraid of the health system?

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Response from Care Opinion Australia 8 years ago
Submitted on 2/03/2016 at 9:44 AM
Published on Care Opinion at 9:44 AM

Dear MHC new patient,

Thank you for your enquiry. Westmead Hospital values feedback on areas of service where improvements can be made and there are a number of ways to lodge a formal complaint with us.

You can post your feedback on the WSLHD website at: or send an email to or lodge a complaint in writing.

Once details of your complaint are received, we will bring them to the attention of senior personnel for investigation and comment. We will provide you with a response as quickly as possible, however a formal response may take up to 35 days from the time of receipt, particularly if it is complex in nature.. If your complaint relates to another person, you will need to obtain their authority for any information to be released or discussed with you. If this is the case, a patient authority form is attached for completion and return to the Patient Advice and Liaison Service.

You are also able to contact the Health Care Complaints Commission. The HCCC is an independent agency that receives and assesses complaints about healthcare practitioners and healthcare services. The HCCC can be contacted by telephone on 9219 7444 or via their website

Thank you again for the opportunity to address your concerns.

Yours sincerely

Jenni Cook

Patient Advice and Liaison Service |

Office of the General Manager Westmead and Auburn

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