Cancer patient given wrong chemotherapy dose offered 'sizeable' compensation.

By Lauren Waldhuter

Cancer patients who were given the wrong dosages of chemotherapy at two Adelaide hospitals are being offered compensation by the State Government.

Over a six-month period five leukaemia patients at the Royal Adelaide Hospital and five at the Flinders Medical Centre were given one dose of a chemotherapy drug per day instead of two.

A review completed by government department SA Health found the situation was caused by significant failures in clinical governance.

One of the patients, Andrew Knox, said he had received a “sizeable” compensation offer from the Government, but did not want to disclose the amount while he sought legal advice.

“I’m prepared to say it is a significant amount that warrants careful consideration,” he said.

“I think it acknowledges at least in some [part], the suffering our families have unnecessarily been through in this last 15 months and the suffering they’ll undoubtedly go through in the future.”

It is understood the State Government will also contribute to some legal costs.

Mr Knox said he was disappointed it had taken the Government so long to offer compensation for the bungle, which occurred between July 2014 and January 2015.

“It’s a shame we didn’t receive the recognition 15 months ago because that would’ve improved the time we’ve had and perhaps the time we’ve got to last,” he said.

He said while compensation went some way in vindicating those involved, their experiences needed to lead to systematic change.

“The compensation is at last an acknowledgement that they were wrong,” he said.

“But the way we were disenfranchised was far more important I think, what we’ve been through and our lives have got to be worth something and that’s to stop it happening again.

“We’re the tip of the iceberg, this is a rare opportunity to change that culture.”

Last week Mr Knox and a second patient, Bronte Higham, told a parliamentary committee of the emotional toll of the situation.

There are ongoing calls for a royal commission into the bungle.

This post originally appeared on ABC News.

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