Total Pageviews

Friday, 4 November 2016

Surgeon Gary Fettke tells hearing of ‘bullying and harassment’

PROMINENT Launceston surgeon Gary Fettke has spoken for the first time since he was gagged by a medical regulator, after an inquiry into his dietary advice to patients.

After a two-year investigation by the Australian Health Practitioner Registration Agency, Dr Fettke was told in August to stop using any platform to give nutrition advice.

He advocates a low-carb, healthy fat diet to his patients.

Using parliamentary privilege, Dr Fettke told a Senate inquiry into the medical complaints process in Australia, he had experienced “systemic bullying and harassment in the public hospital system” and “a prolonged and vexatious AHPRA investigation.”

The Tasmanian Health Service has announced an investigation will be conducted into Dr Fettke’s bullying allegations, after senior THS executives met the surgeon.

A THS spokesman said the allegations were taken “extremely seriously,” and bullying or inappropriate behaviour would not be tolerated.

Dr Fettke alleges the AHPRA complaint process was open to manipulation.

He alleges a dietitian employed by the Launceston General Hospital lodged the initial AHPRA complaint when he was heard giving nutritional advice to a patient.

“I have dared to challenge the nutritional advice given to my patients — my crime is recommending cutting processed food and sugar intake as recommended by the WHO and CSIRO.”

An AHPRA spokeswoman for said the organisation welcomed the opportunity to appear before the Senate inquiry and continued to work on the complaints process to ensure it was objective and fair.

“Our focus is on protecting the public and will carefully consider each notification and assess the risk to the public,” she said.

The orthopedic surgeon conducts most of the surgery from diabetic foot complications in Northern Tasmania. Many of his patients have obesity related conditions.

Dr Fettke alleges he was bullied and harassed in the public hospital system by a senior administrator at the LGH.

This person led “a sustained defamatory campaign posted on a social media hate page that led to cyber bullying of myself, my wife, my staff and my friends,” he told the inquiry.

He said he reported the abuse to the Tasmanian Health Organisation with no resolution.

“I feel abandoned by the system and I do not see that my public hospital workplace is a safe or supportive environment.”

Dr Fettke said the AHPRA investigation had led to “massive psychological stress”.



Margaret D said...

Gary lives in my area.
Sad about his treatment, he is 'not' a dietician but probably as good as one with his diet advice.

Galina L. said...

Wow! It is amazing that a LC diet advice could rise so much animosity. People in general can easily accept the fact that anyone is giving an advice to count calories, to avoid meat and eat only plants, to consume mostly nutritional bars and cocktails, but the thought that eating fatty foods minus carbohydrates will make one healthy just rises a blood pressure in opponents.