The New Zealand Health Service (NZHS) has rejected a claim by a patient who was denied treatment at an internal medicine department in Auckland that he was suffering from a serious form of cancer.
The claim was made in response to an internal email from the hospital to staff.
In an internal communication obtained by The Dominion Post, the New Zealand DHB confirmed the allegation and denied the claim, saying that it had “no evidence to substantiate the claim”.
“The DHB takes any allegation of a patient’s illness or treatment very seriously,” a spokesperson said.
An internal email to staff from the Auckland internal medicine unit of the Auckland hospital says the patient was told he had “a small tumour in his bladder” and was being treated with chemotherapy. “
It is our view that the DHBs internal process for reviewing claims and providing treatment for any patient is robust and efficient.”
An internal email to staff from the Auckland internal medicine unit of the Auckland hospital says the patient was told he had “a small tumour in his bladder” and was being treated with chemotherapy.
It was not clear if the patient received any treatment.
The DHB said it was investigating the matter and would “respond to any concerns raised” if it became apparent the patient had been denied treatment.
In the email, the hospital’s director of external medicine, Dr Chris Pryce, told staff that the patient would not be admitted to hospital, but was in the hospital for treatment and was “in good health”.
He said there was no evidence to suggest the patient did not have a tumour, adding that the case was being investigated.
“If this has been proven to be a false claim, we will take appropriate action,” Dr Pryce said.
Dr Pryan also told staff: “If you find it hard to believe, I’m sorry.
This is a benign lump.” “
This is not a cancer.
This is a benign lump.”
The DHBs response said: “There is no evidence of any tumour and this is a common finding in internal medicine.”
The New York-based International Society of Internal Medicine said in a statement that it was not surprised that the hospital had rejected the claim and called for the health authority to “reassess its approach to the issue of cancer and the need for screening”.
The statement added: “We have a number of concerns regarding this case and want to hear from the DHAs new information about the case and its outcomes.”
The hospital has previously been accused of treating patients with cancer without any medical justification.
A New Zealand Herald investigation found that in the years between 2002 and 2014, at least six doctors and nurses in the Auckland NHS treated patients with cancers of the bladder, ovaries, testicles, breast and prostate.
In 2015, an investigation by the New York Times revealed that the department of internal medicine in Auckland had received more than $2.2 million in government funding between 2010 and 2015 for “medical research” but that its internal operations were “under investigation” by the Department of Internal Affairs.
Dr James Smith, the president of the internal medicine division at Auckland’s Christchurch General Hospital, said he had not been involved in any of the treatment procedures.
“There was no reason for this person to be denied treatment,” Dr Smith said.
The New Zealander’s mother-in-law told the paper that her husband had not had a tumor in his testicles for many years and had been taking steroids.
The case highlights the challenges that New Zealand hospitals face when dealing with patients with rare and aggressive cancers, and how little information can be readily shared about the condition.
“People will always say they have cancer, but what about the fact that they don’t?”
Dr Smith, who was not involved in the case, said it would be better if patients could be treated in the same way as anyone else, with regular tests.
“I think we have to get this out there and I think we need to get it out there more broadly.”
He added that “if there’s a lot of good information out there about the tumour [the] system is a bit broken”.
The New England Journal of Medicine recently published an article about the cancer in question that found that there were no published cases of this tumour.
Dr Smith believes the DHBS had made a mistake in deciding not to give him the treatment he was seeking, but said the hospital should have provided more information to the family.
“They should have explained to the mum and dad why it was wrong and what it was all about,” he said.