Inquest begins into patient deaths at far north Qld hospitals

By Renee Cluff

An inquest into the deaths of three patients in far north Queensland hospitals is expected to hear evidence from 12 doctors and nurses.

The inquest is due to begin in Cairns today.

The three patients died from infectious diseases, after being treated in three separate hospitals in 2012.

Joanne Harrison was a patient at the Cairns Hospital, Graeme Gulliver was treated in Mossman Hospital and Aileen Morton was cared for at the Atherton Hospital.

Earlier this month, a pre-inquest conference heard Mr Gulliver was mistakenly treated for dengue fever instead of leptospirosis and he would have survived if he had been given a correct diagnosis and medication.

The inquest will look into the medical treatment the patients received, whether their deaths highlight any systemic faults in the health service and if so, whether those deficiencies have been addressed.

The inquest has been set down for three days.