Freshly retired surgeon Roland von Marburg says he stopped performing operations at Albury base hospital because of concerns about scrutiny of procedures

Concerned: Roland von Marburg in his Albury consultative rooms after  announcing his resignation publicly last week. He says he quit undertaking operations at the city's public hospital because he felt there was inadequate scrutiny of mistakes in procedures. Picture: MARK JESSER
Concerned: Roland von Marburg in his Albury consultative rooms after announcing his resignation publicly last week. He says he quit undertaking operations at the city's public hospital because he felt there was inadequate scrutiny of mistakes in procedures. Picture: MARK JESSER

NEWLY retired surgeon Roland von Marburg says a lack of “robust analysis of deaths or complications” with operations led to him to leaving Albury’s base hospital.

The former Albury ear, nose and throat specialist said he wanted to spell out to the public why he resigned from hospital work in 2014.

"I think it is important to note that whilst Stuart Spring was CEO of Albury Wodonga Health and Dr Alastair Mah was his director of medical services there appeared to be little or no robust analysis of deaths or complications at Albury-Wodonga Health, especially in the department of surgery,” Dr von Marburg said.

"There would have been hundreds of deaths and thousands of complications that were never analysed by the methods prescribed by groups such as the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons.

"I never had any serious response.”

Dr von Marburg said Dr Spring told him a doctor from outside the area had been seconded to do an investigation but that did not proceed after he left the hospital.

Dr Spring told The Border Mail he had “no recollection” of ordering such a probe.

“From my point of view it’s all in the past and I think some things speak for themselves,” he said.

“I don’t think there’s any point in going over old ground and I wish Dr von Marburg every happiness and enjoyment in retirement.”

In a letter to Dr von Marburg in 2013, Dr Mah defends the process for reviewing deaths and states he is “satisfied that the individual and clinical governance concerns that you have raised on multiple occasions have been sufficiently addressed”.

Dr von Marburg is also worried by bullying at the hospital and believes it harms medico recruitment.

“Part of the problem is this culture that we have here which I don't think is healthy,” he said.

In its recent annual report, AWH noted bullying was an issue, while the Border Medical Association believes “continued communication, collegiality and consultation” will combat it.