QLD Health denies death claims

QUEENSLAND Health yesterday rejected fresh claims it had covered up the true cause of death of a Gympie woman in Nambour Hospital in 2005.

Valerie (Suzie) Prowd died on January 25, 2005, 16 days after being admitted to Nambour Hospital with a broken leg.

Suzie’s emphysema had been so severe at the time she needed a wheelchair to get about and a constant supply of oxygen. The pain relief she was given in hospital is known to possibly suppress respiration.

Sunshine Coast-Wide Bay Health Service CEO Kevin Hegarty yesterday responded to renewed accusations from Suzie’s husband, Ray Prowd, that Endone had caused her death and that Queensland Health had gone to great lengths to cover that fact up in order to protect the staff at Nambour Hospital.

“Mr Prowd’s concerns have been rigorously investigated by Queensland Health and also by the independent Health Quality and Complaints Commission (HQCC),” he said.

“The HQCC is an independent Commission established specifically for the purpose of conducting investigations into healthcare complaints at arm’s length from Queensland Health.

“The HQCC investigated Mr Prowd’s concerns and found ‘the administration of Endone did not contribute to (the patient’s) death’.

“The HQCC also found that ‘no adverse inference’ should be drawn against any Queensland Health employee.

“It is entirely understandable that Mr Prowd remains saddened by the loss of his wife. However, there is no basis for any allegation of any cover-up.

“If Mr Prowd remains dissatisfied with the action taken by HQCC and believes the HQCC has made a decision that is unfair or incorrect, he can complain to the Queensland Ombudsman.”

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