- Cancer Information
- Practical concerns
- Cancer care and your rights
- Health care complaints
- Medical negligence
Health professionals have a duty to treat patients with reasonable care and skill. If you have been injured or suffered financial loss as a result of inadequate treatment or care, you may be able to make a claim for compensation (medical negligence claim). Inadequate treatment may include failure to diagnose or treat promptly, failure to advise you of risks of procedures, or giving you the wrong medicine. Medical negligence claims about cancer diagnoses and care are uncommon.
In most states and territories, the time limit for making a negligence complaint is generally 3 years from the date the injury occurred. Exceptions may apply where an injury was not discovered until later.
Proving negligence can be hard; you may have to go to court, and the process can be expensive. If you think you may have a case, it’s important to get advice from a lawyer who specialises in medical negligence. To find a suitable lawyer, contact the Law Society in your state or territory.
Podcast: Coping with a cancer diagnosis
Prof Sarah Lewis, Faculty of Medicine and Health, The University of Sydney, NSW; Kevin Bloom, Senior Social Worker, Haematology and Bone Marrow Transplant, Royal North Shore Hospital, NSW; Danielle Curnoe, Consumer; Alana Fitzgibbon, Clinical Nurse Consultant – Gastro-Intestinal Cancers, Cancer Services, Royal Hobart Hospital, TAS; Hall & Wilcox (law firm); Johanna Jordaan, Consumer; Dr Deme Karikios, Medical Oncologist, Nepean Cancer and Wellness Centre, Nepean Hospital, NSW; Melissa Lawrie, Breast Cancer Clinical Nurse, Cancer Services, Gold Coast Hospital and Health Service, QLD; Jacqueline Lesage, Consumer Reviewer, Cancer Voices NSW; McCabe Centre for Law and Cancer, VIC; Louise Pellerade, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council WA; Andrew Potter, Consumer; Siân Slade, PhD Candidate, Nossal Institute for Global Health and Non-Executive Director (health, disability sectors), VIC; Paula Watt, Clinical Psychologist, WOMEN Centre, WA.
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