Private Hospital / Paediatrician Experience - Documenting Boy as a Girl

Hi all,

I'm writing here to get some feedback or suggestions in regards to my recent experience at a Private hospital(+ Paediatrician).

We have opted to go to Norwest Private Hospital to have our first baby. It was an elective c-sec scheduled on 06th June & everything went as planned. We were blessed with a baby boy :) My wife along with the bub were discharged on 11th June.

On the day of delivery, I was given the parent pack(medicare, centrelink forms etc.) which had all the information correct. On the day of discharge, a midwife has shown my baby's blue book along with the discharge summary and placed it inside the NSW new born goodies bag.. after which we walked out of the hospital.

We received an invoice of about $500 for the initial & follow up consultations by the Paediatrician the very next day after coming home, which is yet to be paid.

Yesterday 20/06 We decided to go to our Family doctor to get the bub weight & Jaundice levels checked. We handed over the blue book to our GP, that was the first time the Blue book was opened. He noticed the following discrepancies.

1) Sticker on top of the blue book & header labels within has the Gender as "Female" where as I had a baby boy.
2) Paediatrician who saw the bub has filled the "Newborn Examination" section in the Blue book.
This Gentleman ticket the Sex as "Female", Hand written Genitalia as "Female", Testes fully descended R/L as "NA(Not applicable)".
Also, in the comments section he has hand written as "Normal Female Infant".

My GP has pointed out these things and we were completely upset with what has happened after spending nearly $4k out of pocket going to a private hospital. Private insurance claims show that the hospital were paid out close to $7k for our 5 day admission.

I called up the hospital and they quickly followed up with Maternity & I received a call from one of the mid wife to get the book in to rectify all the incorrect information.
I spoke with the Paediatrician as well who accepted that it was his mistake, apologized and was willing to update the information in Blue book ASAP.

In parallel, I gave a call to HCCC and inquired about my rights. I was advised to talk to the Hospital & Doctor. The lady over the phone mentioned that this is very uncommon and she was shocked to know that the doctor actually opened the nappy and written notes as a Female infant. She said that if the doctor accepts it as a mistake, I could actually lodge a complaint with them.. which they would review and take appropriate action against the doctor.
However, any compensation related would need to be lodged with NSW Fair trading after it has been lodged with HCCC.

I went to the hospital today to get the information rectified, and they copied over the information in to a new blue book and i was given both old & new books for records.

What would the community here suggest or recommend ?
- Should I take it easy and leave it here.
- Talk to the hospital & Doctor for compensation - The doctor leases space in the hospital and is not directly employed.
- Raise it with HCCC, Fair trading etc. about Hospital and the Doctor.

Thanks in advance.

Comments

  • +264 votes

    I would leave it and just be grateful you had a trauma free birth and the mistake did not cost your wife's or your baby's life!

    • +114 votes

      Exactly and this:

      I spoke with the Paediatrician as well who accepted that it was his mistake, apologized and was willing to update the information in Blue book ASAP.

      It's uncommon yet people make mistakes. We all make mistakes. Going to a private hospital does not guarantee that mistakes won't be made. The doctor apologised and fixed it ASAP, what more do you want?

      Also, how did you know all the information in the parent pack was correct? Did you look through it? If so, why didn't you check the blue book?

      All this sounds like a petty bid to get compensation.

      • +29 votes

        And anyway surely you can only get compensation if you have suffered harm or loss - what harm has been suffered here?

      • -57 votes

        Documents in the parent pack were asked to be verified before I signed that I've received them & the information is correct.
        Blue book was given to us just before the discharge, and we were not asked to verify the information.

        Well, getting compensated(if eligible) is nothing petty when the hospital is getting big money from myself & the insurance. Also, compensation is just one option listed above.

        • +75 votes

          Sounds like you're fishing for a reason to get compensation because the doctor made a tiny and easily fixable error and you believe that was an injustice because you paid a hefty amount. It just sounds like you're trying to shine the spotlight on hospital staff for not asking you to check the blue book. This is your baby, you are responsible for checking and ensuring documentation relevant to your baby is correct.

          Imagine if you bought a TV for $3000 and there was a minor fault. You took it back to the retailer, they offered to repair it and your TV was repaired. Would you ask them for compensation because of the fault after they've provided a reasonable solution? Same principles apply in this situation.

          If this ever went to Fairtrading or the HCCC, they would have a good laugh. This is essentially your case:

          You: "I want to get compensated because the doctor made an error in my child's blue book"
          Them: "what did the hospital do to address the problem?"
          You: "The doctor apologised and corrected the information ASAP"

          • +42 votes

            @fossilfuel:

            Imagine if you bought a TV for $3000 and there was a minor fault. You took it back to the retailer, they offered to repair it and your TV was repaired. Would you ask them for compensation because of the fault after they've provided a reasonable solution? Same principles apply in this situation.

            I don't think it's quite the same as that, it's more like buying a tv and being given a receipt for a toaster. It's not the tv that's broke (or in this case the baby) it's the paperwork that's incorrect. The op is just trying to milk some cash out of this.

        • +7 votes

          Well, getting compensated(if eligible) is nothing petty when the hospital is getting big money from myself & the insurance. Also, compensation is just one option listed above.

          I don't think you understand the idea of compensation. The fact that the hospital is rich or that they received lots of money from you and your insurance is all irrelevant. Even the fact that they made a mistake is irrelevant. You are awarded compensation when someone else's action has caused you some form of financial loss.

          So far, you have not been able to show that you have suffered any form of financial loss. How do you intend to convince a magistrate?

          If you want to go ahead and try your luck and be slapped with court fees, as well as the hospital's legal fees, then by all means go ahead, that's why we have a legal system.

      • +20 votes

        If the Paediatrician says the child is female, the child is female.

        • +16 votes

          Oh the irony if this boy grows up to be transgender!

        • -7 votes

          If the media keeps saying: Why work and support yourself if you can bludge and get others to work and you can be having a good life watching others suffer to support you. So feeling bored you can now demand a free gender change. The public has no choice then to pay all your costs. Unlimited free changes, fluid at speed of your choice!

      • +7 votes

        It's uncommon yet people make mistakes. We all make mistakes.

        Exactly. I worked in the public hospital system for a number of years - most (except for dedicated maternity hospitals) do not have paediatricians on staff, so the paeds we had coming in from a private practice would often be rushing from one hospital to another during the day, and once at the hospital, going between booked caesareans in theatre and the maternity unit for bubs being born there as well. They also get called out around the clock, weekends and all if they are on call and it is s very stressful profession. It's quite possible the paed may have examined several babies as well as yours, and was sitting down to quickly write up his paperwork before heading off to the next hospital and yes - he made a mistake, as did the hospital by putting the incorrect gender on the patient sticker.

        Your wife and baby are healthy, no birth complications, all the information has now been correctly updated - and you still want to try to get compensation? Let it go, and just enjoy the new addition to your family.

    •  

      God damn, why has this been made out to be such a big issue? So many have issues conceiving/giving birth and OP's worried about what a doctor wrote on a piece of paper. Be grateful it wasn't a procedural error leaving the infant with physical impairments.

      The paed apologized and took full responsibility and they're fixing up the documentation. What the hell more do you want?

  • +17 votes

    The more upset you are about a clerical error, the less you have to pay in hospital fees.

    Or not.

    • +16 votes

      The very least the paediatrician could do is to waive the $500 consultation fee. He clearly did not examine the baby.Even my 2 year old can tell the difference between a girl and a boy. To quote him, girls are "noodle-less". He calls it a "noodle" because it looks like the noodles they have at the swimming pool.

      • +4 votes

        Mate. Sometimes I'm so stuck thinking something in my head like left vs right. It could be something like me narrating the surgery in my head ie. "Let's do the incision from left to right".

        I can complete the procedure and still write left instead of right.

        Does that mean I can get the wrong side? No. My nurse knows the procedure before I start and I get a verbal confirmation of the site before I start.

        I'm not and I don't expect anyone to "just waive their livelihood" for that reason.

        • -7 votes

          Completely agree, definitely don't want to hit on anyone's livelihood.

        • +13 votes

          "just waive their livelihood" (sic)

          Mate, let's not be overly dramatic here. $500 is chump change for a neonatal paediatrician. He won't starve if he waived that consultation fee.

          P.s: Nothing against Drs. My Pop was a GP, my father was an Ob-gyn and my FIL was a cardiothoracic surgeon. I do realise that it is a stressful job and that is why you get paid the big bucks.

          • +2 votes

            @Jar Jar binks: Maybe the doctor gives most of it to charity and is actually not well off.

            We don't know and neither should we care. It's their fee and the charges were fully consented to. The service was provided. There was a clerical error. There is no reason for compensation especially since there is no damage.

          • +7 votes

            @Jar Jar binks:

            Mate, let's not be overly dramatic here. $500 is chump change for a neonatal paediatrician. He won't starve if he waived that consultation fee.

            Next time you make a mistake at work, let's dock you $500 too, you probably won't starve either.

            • +9 votes

              @p1 ama: I'm not in a pay-for-service business. If I was, I would apologise and gladly refund my fees for a job not performed satisfactorily.

              For all we know, he may not even have examined the child.

              And no, I wouldn't starve.

              • +10 votes

                @Jar Jar binks: That's the problem with "customers" of the medical industry.

                When everything is working fine, it looks like we haven't done anything and people aren't sure why doctors even exist.

                Make a clerical oversight and suddenly, the doctor didn't just made a typo, who knows if he/she provided a service, maybe they botched something. Maybe they didn't go to medical school. Maybe they've lost the baby and replaced with another.

                •  

                  @tshow: This is a problem in pretty every industry, mate. Doctors and not the only misunderstood people. Besides, this is a little more than a clerical oversight/typo - it seems to suggest that the paid for examination did not even occur. Given $500 is what, less than an hour's pay before tax? Just return the money with an apology.

              • +2 votes

                @Jar Jar binks:

                I'm not in a pay-for-service business. If I was, I would apologise and gladly refund my fees for a job not performed satisfactorily.

                Yes, the doctor is in a "pay for service" business, not a "pay for results" business. Either way, when you pay the tens of thousands of dollars for a private hospital stay, you're not just paying the consultant, you're paying for the bed, the ward staff, the nurses, the pharmacists, the cleaners…etc. So what part of that fee do you suggest is refunded?

                On top of that, where do you draw the line between what should be refunded and what should not be refunded? Mistakes can range from completely harmless to extremely harmful. Who defines what is a "satisfactory" job and what is not a satisfactory job?

                If you've agreed to pay a doctor for "work done", not for results or outcomes (which would be a terrible model), then they should be paid if they've completed the job to the best of their ability with due care and diligence. If they haven't done that, then it would be negligence and there are legal avenues to pursue that.

                For all we know, he may not even have examined the child.

                If OP really believes that then it's a matter for the courts - no point hypothesising about what might/might not have been done.

                •  

                  @p1 ama: What can I say? It would appear that some of us hold ourselves to a higher standard than others…

                  Thank goodness for doctors like MissG, my paed and my Father-in-law who all said they would have been "mortified" if they had made that mistake and would have gladly waived the consult fees.

                  Here's MissG's response.

                  •  

                    @Jar Jar binks: Thank goodness for doctors who are easily mortified?

                    •  

                      @tshow: Thanks goodness for doctors who hold themselves to a high standard.

                      •  

                        @Jar Jar binks: Mate, I have seen surgeons who couldn't hold a scalpel without harmonics radiating off their shaky incompetent hands.

                        They're really good with notes. Largely to protect their ever exposed behind.

                        Higher clerical standard, sure, but if you think a doctor is good because he/she is easily mortified by clerical errors, goodness knows what sort of doctors you know. I would be too mortified to find out.

                        •  

                          @tshow: You (and the majority of commenters) keep calling it a clerical error. Were you there? How else would you know that he opened that child's nappy? What if he didn't and there were some lumps, soreness or other abnormalities that needed urgent attention? These would have only been discovered 10 days later. That could have been 10 days too late to save that child's life!

                          I wonder how many of those afore-mentionned commenters would be happy to have that paed treat their kids… Would you?

                          Unless he has a credible explanation for how that error happened, I would be erring on the side of caution and treating it as either incompetence or negligence on his part and there is no way I would let him near mine.

                          As for what sort of doctors I know, good ones! The kind that are not only competent but who also treat me like a person instead of a cash cow.

                          • +2 votes

                            @Jar Jar binks: I wasn't there. Neither were you. Moot point.

                            I've had "use drops on right eye" printed on label of drops on left eye. I don't care. Correct diagnosis. Clerical error. So yeah, I would be a touch annoyed by the clerical error if it was my kid but that'll be the extent of that.

                            You weren't there yet you are sure it wasn't just a clerical error and the doctor is using the patient as a cash cow.

                            It requires more assumptions to come to your conclusion than it does mine.

                            Ps. If OP is convinced that no examination took place, he/she can do a chargeback under "service not provided". It would be credit card fraud OP was wrong. Simple.

                            • -1 vote

                              @tshow:

                              Unless he has a credible explanation for how that error occurred, I would be erring on the side of caution and treating it as either incompetence or negligence on his part(..)

                              The key phrase was erring on the side of caution . Why should I (or OP) give this stranger the benefit of the doubt?

                              •  

                                @Jar Jar binks: Then the parent should ask the doctor for an explanation rather than compensation.

                                I can tell when someone is erring on the side of money.

                                Why should I (or OP) give this stranger the benefit of the doubt?

                                This is the entire foundation of a doctor-patient relationship. Patients don't really know if they have a good doctor (ask any off duty pharmacist. They have stories). Some are unfortunate enough to be confronted with clerical errors and cast aside the best doctor.

                              • -1 vote

                                @Jar Jar binks:

                                The key phrase was erring on the side of caution . Why should I (or OP) give this stranger the benefit of the doubt?

                                Because a tenet of modern society is that we assume people are innocent until proven guilty. In other words, we assume that it is an honest mistake until we can prove that the doctor is incompetent or negligent.

                            •  

                              @tshow: Hope you haven't amputated the left leg when the right arm had gangrene. :)

                              Just kidding, I know where you're coming from.

                          • -6 votes

                            @Jar Jar binks: "either incompetence or negligence"

                            malpractice was the first word I thought of. he didn't examine the child. he probably doesn't examine any of the children in his care. just happened to get caught out this time. Could the name on the paperwork he was filling in perhaps be mistaken for a girls name?

                            in America he would be sued for malpractice. normally I prefer the less litigious culture in Australia, but if this is a symptom of a larger issue perhaps the medical board should be informed.

      • +3 votes

        I think they should waive the fee - the hospital and obstetrician did a flawless job here and have no blame, but the paediatrician has been careless to the point where you wonder if they did the required checks. Most kids are fine so nothing to be concerned with there, but to protect their business they should waive it.

  • +36 votes

    I would be more worried that my baby might have been swapped at birth …but that's just me.

  • +31 votes

    Compensation? Jesus…

      • +7 votes

        Here you see why doctors become happy to bill heavily and insurance costs go up.
        Fair enough this OP has over reacted in a truly moronic way but it demonstrates what every doctor now sees when there is the smallest of problems

        Any problem = a complaint
        What does this mean? Insurance costs go up and doctors become jaded and mercantile,

  • +39 votes

    You want compensation for a mistake which cost you nothing, and now want to cash in. You should sue for millions

    Jesus Christ what has the world come too, I’m sure he examined your baby and made an honest mistske

      • +5 votes

        invoice of about $500

        after spending nearly $4k out of pocket

        hospital were paid out close to $7k

        Talk to the hospital & Doctor for compensation

        getting compensated(if eligible) is nothing petty when the hospital is getting big money

        When someone is charging me $500 for 5 minutes

        You sure you don't have your eye on the money here?

        • +1 vote

          I’m not asking you what the initial cost was

          How much did the mistske cost you, ie what are your damages if we r taking this to court

          U have no damages other than 10 bucks of petrol. You can’t just sue someone for an arbitrary amount, there is nothing to compensate, except petrol and 30 mins of your time,… of course you could sue for mental anguish if this indeed caused you mental anguish,but too me smells like you just want to cash in on the honest error.

          Seriously go cuddle your baby

          Or

          Go see a lawyer and pay him the same again for no result as you have no damages

      • +4 votes

        Inconvenience is what it costed me. Had to go back to the Hospital for no mistake of mine and make sure everything is copied over properly.

        Then stop being a coward - document how much it cost you and take it to court. Put your money where your mouth is. Threatening legal action on an online forum is meaningless.

        When someone is charging me $500 for 5 minutes of their time, I would expect the service to be 100% and nothing less.

        Sure, why don't you tell that to the magistrate?

      • +16 votes

        You are exactly whats wrong with people, I expect you're like this in every other part of your life and people avoid you because of this.
        A mistake was made where no one was harmed, no trauma inflicted on anyone and you cry about having to return to a Hospital (of which you've probably been many times already for scans and other testing pre birth) and want money.
        The mistake was corrected, a new book issued, your child is days old and you're on the internet complaining like an idiot, unplug mate.

    • +1 vote

      I’m sure he examined your baby and made an honest mistske

      How can you be so sure? Were you there in the room when he opened the baby's nappy? 🤨

      •  

        I'm sure you're breathing, but I am not there in the room. It's assumed based on expected behaviour.

  • +1 vote

    I have to agree with the others as this really wasn't anything life threatening and seems to have only resulted in feelings hurt.

    Now if you had experienced what I had recently - being triaged as an ATS 4 when in reality it was supposed to be an ATS 2, then that would be a completely different situation and you'd have more sympathy for compensation and action taken.

    • -1 vote

      Upon what basis are you making that clinical judgement?

      What I’m reading is “OP is being petulant child. I was legitimately wronged”… despite having very little justification of said claim.

      Are you going to follow your own advice and hold the poor old ED nurse who “incorrectly” triaged you accountable for your loss?

      On the assumption you wrote your own reply, one could deduce that your condition was equally non life-threatening, and as a result of having to wait 60 minutes instead of 10 (I believe these are the ATS targets), it appears you have also have suffered little other than having your feelings hurt.

      Am I missing something?

      I truly don’t mean to be rude, I’m just trying to understand what distinction you’re trying to make.

      • +1 vote

        In response to OP I upvoted comments that I agreed with and it seems nearly everyone agrees with those statements about how he is overreacting.

        Regarding my own experience I work in the industry and am familiar with how it works. I also said recently so it was long before the comment.

        The issue at hand was that important information relayed by a doctor via phone and writing was 'misplaced' and not entered into the system resulting my condition being seen as less serious. Wait time ended up being 4 hours apparently. I was not conscious for a while 😉

        Various factors for this including the hospital being over capacity with no beds, ambulances on the ramp and staff being stressed and fatigued by having to work overtime. Not to mention the number of people going to emergency because of the flu.

        • +1 vote

          As a doctor working in emergency I have no disrespect for people coming to ED with the flu. 3000-4000 people die of the flu in Australia each year, and even uncomplicated cases of the flu can make you feel extremely bad. You often just can't tell the difference between the flu and a severe bacterial infection unless you run the full gamut of clinical examination, flu PCR, inflammatory markers and chest xray.

          •  

            @Save Medicare: Oh of course I'm not denying that's the case. Just I know for a fact there were a lot of non-serious cases walking into ED that night.

            • -1 vote

              @Clear: No… you don’t.

              •  

                @jackary: Yes… I do. I did say I work in the industry. In this case I attended my own workplace.

                • -2 votes

                  @Clear: Gosh, you were a busy boy checking up on everyone else while apparently in an altered state of consciousness!

                  So just to recap:

                  • In your opinion, OP was not wronged by his Paed, other than having his feelings hurt. You however were much more deserving of sympathy for your still undisclosed ‘serious’ condition in another ED at another time, however you have provided no evidence of this.

                  • In your opinion, which you have called fact, there were a lot of people with “non life-threatening” flu clogging up the ED on the night you presented. How you could make such a clinical judgement when as the doctor above has pointed out, a diagnosis often requires complex examination is beyond me. You’re also being very ambiguous as to what capacity you’re employed in by said hospital. I’m not sure its relevant, but your insistence to remind us all that you are seems to suggest you think it is?

                  I am truly not trying to be rude to you mate. Just trying to point out that you’re making a lot of assumptions - and assumptions are just one of many ways mistakes are made in a hospital setting.

  • +7 votes

    The paediatrician probably forgot the sex of the child while going through the BlueBook, referred to the sticker and filled it out with his own "no abnormalities detected" template.

  • +1 vote

    compensation

    For what?

    According to your account there doesn't seem to have been any damages arising as a result of the error.

  •  

    You can get assessed by your gp for free psychologist consultation if you think you have suffer some emotionnal distress because you didn t though about consulting your blue book .blue book have important informations on your newborn but also the birth and the mother so i m surprised as a new parent you weren t even curious to open it. Good luck on trying to get compensation. It s already stressfull to have a newborn but going through paper because of a non life threathning issue for a couple hundred dollars… i don t know if it s really worth the time …

  • +5 votes

    Everyone always wants compensation for nothing. It’s a clerical error ffs

  • +20 votes

    Heaven forbid! I would bring the baby boy back to the hospital and swap it for a girl. It's a blatant disregard and violation of our consumer rights under ACL.

    • +1 vote

      Not sure if you can swap for a different model. I think you get a direct replacement or a refund (not bloody sure how that works).

      … and would this qualify under major or minor fault?

  • +5 votes

    Sure your real baby didn't get swapped with someone else's??

  • +16 votes

    Plot twist, the Doc can see in to the future…..

  • +9 votes

    Back in 2016 when you posted:

    "Hi I booked a flight with Studnet flights"
    https://www.ozbargain.com.au/node/270644 we all had a laugh, it was an obvious typo (?) and
    nobody wanted compensation…

    What happened?

    "You've changed man. You used to be about the OzBargain!"

  • +10 votes

    Hahaha. Having a sook because you were inconvenienced. Welcome to parent hood.

  • +4 votes

    I am going to sue my kid for inconveniencing me. “So you said you had a “poo poo” but after setting everything up for a nappy change I discover no poo. How do you plead?”

  • +1 vote

    Congratulations on the safe arrival of your baby. Don't make a mountain out of a mole hill. In the grand scheme, your baby is healthy and your wife is back home. The issue was corrected quickly. In the great words of Princess Elsa, "Let it go".

  • +4 votes

    Have you lodged a Hurt Feelings Report with the police as well?

    Or maybe your son now identifies as female and told the paediatrician…

  • +3 votes

    Move on. Yes, bit upsetting, but focus on your baby at hand and enjoy the moment. Life’s too short and time is precious to stew over non life threatening things.

    PS: nothing wrong with the public health system either.

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