"Breast Clinic"

About: Royal Perth Hospital / Breast Cancer Care & Support

(as the patient),

After seeing several doctors & ending up at the Royal Perth Hospital Breast Cancer Clinic, I had an appointment with a surgeon. The remarks made to me by the surgeon were upsetting. I felt, from bagging other doctors to being told there was nothing wrong with me & I was wasting their time (despite breast physician saying otherwise). In my opinion, the surgeon appeared to be complaining over medical records from other states, seemingly telling me off because other doctors didn't do follow up tests & refusing to accept genetic testing from another state. The surgeon even appeared to get angry when I cried during my examination. I just put up with the rudeness. I also felt that the surgeon barked orders at a nurse over what tests had to be done & left. I was upset & confused over my treatment. I don't care what is wrong with my breast, I will never return to the clinic. I deserve to be heard & treated with respect & I believe this surgeon doesn't know how to do either! !

Responses

Response from Aresh Anwar, Executive Director, Royal Perth Bentley Group

picture of Aresh Anwar

Dear Breast review,

Thank you for coming forward to tell us about your experience. I am very appreciative that any visit to a hospital can be very anxiety provoking, and in this instance we did not address for you.

The behaviour you describe is very clearly unacceptable, and I would like to unreservedly apologise for this. The Breast Service pride themselves on their standard of care, so as I share your feedback with the team I know they will also be upset to have let you down.

Thank you once again, and for the courage to tell us about the distress you felt. It is imperative to the service and the team that we all ensure our communication is both clear and respectful; it is a core value that we provide.

With apologies.

Dr Aresh Anwar

Executive Director

Royal Perth Bentley Group

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Update posted by Breast review (the patient)

I thank you for taking the time to respond, I appreciate the apology but must reiterate that my problem was solely with the surgeon NOT any of the other staff. I have had breast cancer twice in the last 22yrs & it appears to have returned again, I have never had a surgeon treat me with utter disrespect & complete rudeness & to have to listen to the surgeon do the same to staff was beyond what I could or would tolerate. Staff & patients should never be subjected to that type of behaviour nor should I as a patient have to listen to a surgeon criticise & belittle the wonderful doctors I had seen prior to seeing this doctor, I have no intention of returning to the RPH Breast Clinic as the culture of surgeons being held above all others is insulting to those wonderful grass roots staff that cared so much for me as I went through the processes of testing- biopsy's - x-rays - bloods etc. as required prior to seeing the surgeon. I believe this surgeon needs to take a long hard look at themselves & the way they interact with others, I also believe strongly that RPH needs to address this surgeon's attitude & offer an 'effective communication' course to prevent this happening to anyone else.

Response from Lesley Bennett, Acting Executive Director, Royal Perth Bentley Group

picture of Lesley Bennett

Dear Breast review,

Thank you for further clarifying your dissatisfaction with your recent experience at RPH. I appreciate the strength of feeling you have toward the surgeon you mention and once again sincerely apologise for any disrespect or rudeness exhibited by the treating physician.

While I appreciate your apprehension to return to RPH can I please ask that if not returning to this hospital that you seek treatment from another health provider for your condition? If you would like to speak to me confidentially so that I may assist in transferring your care elsewhere please do not hesitate to contact my office on 08 9224 2219.

I take your concerns very seriously and if you are willing, would very much like to speak with you so that I can get additional background to then investigate this matter further.

Once again, thank you for your ongoing feedback and I look forward to speaking and assisting you soon.

Sincerely

Dr Lesley Bennett

A/Executive Director

Royal Perth Bentley Group

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