Australian breast imaging provider involved in medical negligence case

Date: Mar 21, 2014


A recent example of what could be termed medical negligence has been highlighted by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

On Wednesday (March 19), the Federal Court was called on to hear a case brought forward by the ACCC, which concerned breast imaging provider Safe Breast Imaging Pty Ltd (SBI).

The ACCC accused SBI of “misleading and deceptive conduct” that may have put consumers in harm’s way.

The company offers a breast imaging service known as the Multifrequency Electrical Impedance Mammograph (MEM) device.

According to the ACCC, SBI used the device from April 2009 to August 2011 and falsely led consumers to believe it was capable of determining whether or not they were at risk of developing breast cancer, and how great this risk might be.

In addition to this, the company also claimed the MEM device could inform consumers if they had breast cancer. The Federal Court determined these claims were “false, misleading and deceptive”.

It was not only SBI itself that was held accountable, however. Joanne Firth – the director and “person responsible for the promotion and management of the company” was also accused of knowing exactly what SBI was up to.

It appears SBI was also telling consumers that any images taken by the MEM device were adequate substitutes for those captured during a proper mammogram.

This was found to be incorrect, too, and the Federal Court revealed SBI had no scientific basis for making these statements on its website, pamphlets and videos launched on the internet.

To render matters worse, SBI said that all images taken by the MEM device were interpreted by medical doctors, who composed reports on their findings.

It turns out that in some cases the reports attributed to certain medical doctors were not actually written by them. In others, reports were composed by people who claimed to be medical doctors, but actually weren’t.

“Not only did Safe Breast Imaging falsely represent to women that it could assure them they did not have breast cancer and that SBI’s imaging was a substitute for mammography, but SBI also tried to gain greater credibility by overstating the role that doctors played in the service,” said ACCC Chairman Rod Sims.

If you have been misdiagnosed by a healthcare professional, you could be eligible to make medical negligence claims.

For more information, get in touch with medical negligence lawyers in Sydney today. We can help you determine whether or not you have a case, as well as what level of injury compensation you may be eligible for.

Call us now on 1800 004 878 to book a free appointment with one of my compensation experts or email your enquiry.