Medical Negligence in Canberra Hospital

It can be easy to think that we do not need medical negligence lawyers in Sydney, or anywhere else in Australia for that matter, but that is simply not true. You need to have only opened a newspaper or logged onto a news website in the last six months to see that the field of medical negligence lawyers is still greatly required throughout Australia. Previously, we have seen negligent Queensland doctors forcing a change in the Queensland Board of the Medical Board of Australia members and the creation of a specialist Health ombudsman, and we have seen Dr Jayant Patel return to the courts for a retrial over three counts of manslaughter. But there is still even more recent cases of medical negligence in Australia, this time in the nation’s capital of Canberra.

medical malpracticeIn the mid-90s, Dr Gerald McLaren raised concerns about Canberra Hospital’s former head of neurosurgery, Dr Raymond Newcombe. There was an initial investigation, and, in 1998, an audit. In particular Dr McLaren was concerned about Dr Newcombe’s surgical skills. Another investigation was conducted in 2003 and in 2007 the Australian Capital Territory Civil and Administrative Appeals Tribunal held a hearing into allegations against Dr Newcombe of medical malpractice. The decision was released at the end of last month: Dr Raymond Newcombe went against standards of practice by failing to maintain public protection and safety.

What the Tribunal found is quite shocking and disturbing. It says that Dr Newcombe performed surgery on the wrong part of the brain of a patient, he used the wrong instrument during one or more surgeries, he failed to provide suitable and satisfactory post operative and clinical care, and he also failed to ensure accurate and complete clinical records about a patient.

Dr Raymond Newcombe retired in 2004 and Canberra Hospital believes enough changes have been made since Dr Newcombe to prevent a similar or repeat incident. Of course, time will tell if this is really true.

With such a recent instance of disturbing medical malpractice, it is more important than ever that Australian patients are aware that there are medical negligence lawyers at hand if they need them. If you are looking for medical negligence lawyers in Sydney, call BPC Lawyers on (02) 8355 4002, or enquire online at


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