Whistleblower vows justice for Bega victims
The woman responsible for exposing banned Bega doctor Graeme Reeves says she will continue fighting to get justice for his victims.
Health Minister Reba Meagher yesterday released an interim report of an inquiry into the state’s hospital system.
It found Graeme Reeves lied and cheated his way into a position at the former Southern Area Health Service. He had previously been banned from working as an obstetrician.
It is alleged Mr Reeves abused scores of women, mutilating or molesting them at hospitals in Sydney, Pambula and Bega.
The interim report recommended the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) be asked to consider charging Mr Reeves, but made no finding against the three people involved in his recruitment.
Commissioner Peter Garling QC found there was no clear and comprehensive policy followed by the Health Department and Area Health Service regarding the employment of visiting medical officers.
Carolyn Dewaegeneire, one of the first patients to speak out against Mr Reeves, says the battle has only just begun.
“The ACCC, the AMA and all the other professionals at the top of the ladder knew about him years ago,” she said.
“I will continue fighting. All those women who came forward with their trauma and tragedies, I will go forward to get justice.”
Lorraine Long from the Medical Error Action Group says she is glad the DPP will now be looking at laying charges against Graeme Reeves.
But she too says his victims will feel let down that there is no action planned against people in the health system.
“I think that they will be appalled and very, very disappointed because you just can’t blame one person for this,” she said.
“The doctors in the Bega Valley knew about Reeves as well, and what about the area health service? What about the chief executive of the hospital? What’s going to happen to them?”
Bega MP Andrew Constance says Mr Reeves’ former patients have been left short changed.
He says there has been no justice for the women.
“There’s no grief counselling been forthcoming. There’s no accountability forthcoming,” he said.
“I guess the best thing is the fact that we now have a referral through to the DPP. A referral, I might add, which should of happened in 2004 by the State Government when Reeves was struck off by the medical tribunal.”