Letters to the Editor: Monday, April 24, 2017

HUMAN: Failing to admit medical errors can cause long-term suffering for patients, with one correspondent calling for both acknowledgement and support for victims.HAS Damon Cronshaw bravely stepped where no man has gone before (‘Medical errors swept under the carpet as victims suffer’,Herald, 19/4)?


There may be hundreds, perhaps thousands, of similar cases of medical malpractice across Australia over the years but we will never know for the reasons he rightly states. I would argue in most cases victims never got to take civil action because there was no one – doctors, hospitals, medical staff – prepared to support them publicly. Whilst in quiet corners and hospital corridors they whispered of the wrong that is where it stopped. Perhaps it is only of late when we as a society have become more forthright and aware of our rights that there has been some claims by those prepared to take on the seemingly impossible. Looking back we were far too trusting. With a wealth of business and life experiences behind me now what I would give to put this head on those young shoulders.

Our family’s case was over 35 years ago and the so-called specialist is probably long gone. Yet despite both parents working within the confines of a hospital and medical practice and having what they surely felt were friends as doctors and specialists, no one was prepared to back them. And the suffering is still there, both physically and mentally, as a result of one man’s negligence and now it is passed onto the victim’s own family to bear. One can’t help but think it might be a much different scenario for all of us if one person was honest, caring and courageous enough to support us.

There is no doubt doctors are exceptional people and the world is a better place because of them. But they are human and can make mistakes and that’s nothing to be ashamed of.When it does happen all we really want is acknowledgement and acceptance to move forward. For our family it is too late but I pray Mr Cronshaw has opened the door that will make it easier for victims in the future.

Name and address suppliedA housing fixTHE government can fix the housing problem in this coming budget by removing the negative gearing and capital gains concessions from July 1, 2017.

The market would be flooded with cheap houses by the speculators andtax freeloaders whohave been rorting the system and who cannot afford to be “investors” at the expense of first home buyers.

Greg Fall (Letters, 20/4)did not clearly state that he used negative gearing. Maybe, in accordance with that Aussie expression, “Pleezeggsplane” he can enlighten us.

Bruce Brown,Marks PointPlan now for raceWE have had a lovely sunny Easter over this school holidays. Trips with the family down to Nobbys and Newcastle beaches, bicycling, scootering, swimming and enjoying the park.The Supercars race in November and the reconstruction required willchange much of thisby Easter nextyear. Our park will be smaller, access to the beaches will be more limited, new buildings will have appeared in the park, possible human tragedies may have occurred and many people both the race watchers themselves and the local residents may be noticing difficulties with their hearing.

In the four-month period prior to the race, roads will be resurfaced, pedestrian crossings gone. This work will not only be being done during the day but also at night. Traffic will be rerouted in that time and there are already long slow line ups of cars along Shortland Paradeand Zaara Street as they have become one way.

Can this be ameliorated? There are as many as 200 trees and shrubs scheduled to be cut downbut new ones could be being replanted now further back from the track. All the planned new buildings could be fitted with solar panels and batteriesto lessen the impact of the consumption of petrol. All houses and flats along the route could be offered by the council planted geranium boxes to soften the appearance of the track.

Let’s hear some positive planning from our city council, starting now.

Gillian Turner AO,NewcastleMissed opportunityTHIRTY-storeys on The Store site – a great idea. It’s a pity the government has waited until now. Imagine if this had happened before the rail line had gone in? We could have a building that went from Hunter Street, across the rail line to Station Street, making use of the air space above Beresford Lane and the rail line. Perhaps foundations could still be placed under the rail line to support such a building?

What could we have in such a landmark construction? Alarge part of the ground level could be double height space to accommodate buses out of the weather with a similar arrangement for cars and taxis on the Station Street side.

What are we missing in Newcastle? I’m sure various agencies would have suggestions as to how many apartments would be needed for dedicated crisisaccommodation.What are we losing in Newcastle? How about 10 or 12 floors above Beresford Lane and the rail line be used for parking?

The area is supposed to be a transport hub. How about a helipad?We could have interested the federal government as they seek todecentralise. They’d have offices plus a helipad. Ministers would have a legitimate reason to ride in a helicopter.

Instead,the NSW government will flog off the site to he highest bidder and move the money to Sydney projects.That leaves us with our steel lattice work to help us feel good about what the government is doingfor us. Sorry, I mean ‘to us’.

Rick Carter,Blackalls ParkTrying to save LiberalsLIBERAL MPs whinging about Tony Abbott’s criticism of the party and Mr Turnbull in particular are to be pitied. In fact, they’re getting a dose of reality therapy. They’ve been cocooned in their safe politician bubble but reality has crept in – courtesy of their own failed leader.

They’ve stood meekly behind Mr Abbott as he blow torched the Labor Party and One Nation. The tables have turned dramatically now with Tony seeming to undermine the party that stabbed him in the back.

Mr Abbott’s criticisms should be seen for what they are; a genuine attempt to point out the failures and shortfalls of a party in deep trouble in the polls. He’s also pointing the gun at a leader who is little more than a retailer for an out of touch far right party. In fact, Mr Abbott is trying to save the Liberals, a party he believes in despite their betrayal.

John Butler,Windella Downs

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