Patient files lawsuit against CQ doctor, hospital for $1.3m

A WELL-KNOWN Biloela doctor is being sued for more than $1.3 million after a patient was hospitalised and underwent a series of surgeries that allegedly could have been avoided.

Dr Richard Tan has been practising medicine as a general practitioner in Biloela since 1968, marking more than 50 years of service.

He is now being sued by a Banana shire couple of which the female was a patient.

The lawsuit was filed in the Rockhampton Supreme Court in April.

Central Queensland Hospital and Health Service is also being sued in the case as it oversees Biloela Hospital and is the employer of Dr Tan.

Dr Richard Tan
Dr Richard Tan

According to the court documents, the female patient first presented to Dr Tan at Biloela Medical Centre on April 24, 2017, complaining of right upper quadrant pain.

The femlae patient was diagnosed with gallbladder inflammation and was prescribed medication.

The court documents detail a series of events where the female patient continued to experience pain and visited Dr Tan on two more occasions and underwent an abdominal ultrasound.

On May 10 2017, three weeks after her first GP visit, the female patient allegedly called an ambulance following an episode of acute abdominal pain which she said was 10/10 on the pain scale.

According to the court documents she arrived at the hospital just after midnight and Dr Tan was phoned and he ordered medications and did not attend to examine.

The medical notes in the court documents claim her condition deteriorated throughout the day.

Around 3.15pm the patient was sent to Rockhampton's Hillcrest Hospital querying a ruptured bowel.

According to the court documents, the husband was not notified his wife was deteriorating.

Upon assessment at Hillcrest around 7.20pm, the female patient was allegedly transported to Rockhampton Hospital due to her acute condition.

It is claimed the next day (May 12) the female patient was admitted to the intensive care unit and at this time the husband was phoned for the first time and was advised to visit urgently.

Around 8.43am the patient underwent surgery for a perforated ulcer and had further operations on May 16 and May 23.

The husband and wife claim Dr Tan and Biloela Hospital failed to act with reasonable care and skill and failed to properly investigate the female patient on five occasions.

It is further claimed the female patient should have been examined by Dr Tan upon arrival to Biloela Hospital and sent to a tertiary hospital earlier and the delay resulted in her contracting sepsis, severe kidney injury and a perforated ulcer.

As a result of the series of medical instances, the female patient claims she has suffered a perforated duodenal ulcer, kidney injury requiring dialysis, sepsis, lung injury causing impaired lung function, fatigue and lethargy, reduced mobility, anxiety and depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, further surgery, increased obesity and scarring and disfigurement to her body.

The woman is suing for an amount of $860,361 which includes past care and assistance of $118,640 and future of $316,755 and future wages loss of $161.730.

Her husband is suing for an amount of $471,580 including $120,000 for past wages loss and $250,000 for future loss.

A defence has not yet been filed.