Cochlear compensation in QLD
The Queensland government has approved a $2.2 million compensation payout for nearly 100 audiology patients at Townsville University Hospital.
In July, the hospital acknowledged shortcomings in patient care, specifically related to newborn hearing screens and programming errors in children's cochlear implants.
Subsequently, the audit expanded to include affected adult patients.
Of the 97 affected patients, 40 with serious clinical concerns will receive $50,000 each in compensation.
The remaining 57, recalled for further testing with no identified clinical concerns, will receive $5,000 each.
Townsville Hospital and Health Service has expressed regret for the lifelong impacts on some patients, and assured that affected individuals would receive speech pathology and hearing aids for improved outcomes.
One staff member has been terminated, while the other remains suspended.
An independent investigation, completed in June, identified deficiencies in clinical care and oversight, leading to 25 recommendations for improvement.
Health Minister Shannon Fentiman announced the $2.2 million compensation and said that it does not preclude patients from pursuing individual personal injury claims.
Fentiman also advocated for the regulation of audiologists by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (APHRA).