IF LOSING his toe wasn't enough, Bundaberg's Rod Fraser lost his driver's licence after what he claims
IF LOSING his toe wasn't enough, Bundaberg's Rod Fraser lost his driver's licence after what he claims "a lack of communication” at the Bundaberg Hospital. Mike Knott BUN300118FRASER2

'I lost my toe and my licence'

IF LOSING his toe wasn't enough a Bundaberg man lost his driver's licence as well, and claims "a lack of communication" at Bundaberg Hospital is the cause.

Rod Fraser, 60, a diabetic, went to the hospital in November to have his right middle toe amputated after a burn from an exhaust pipe became infected.

Mr Fraser has type-2 diabetes and said he never had an issue dealing with the chronic disease until now.

While waiting for the surgery he fasted and was advised not to take his diabetic medication.

One of the main purposes of the medication is to keep blood glucose levels within a safe range of four and eight.

Mr Fraser said his blood sugar levels normally sit at about 8.5 and claims following pre-surgery directions his blood sugar shot to 16, making him hyperglycaemic when tested by the hospital staff.

Both hyperglycaemia and hypoglycaemia, low blood sugar, can affect a person's ability to drive.

Mr Fraser stayed the night in hospital, unaware of any issues, before driving to a friend's home to recover.

Weeks after the operation with his foot healing well, Mr Fraser opened a letter from Queensland Transport.

"The letter said they had cancelled my licence until I got a medical clearance," he said.


Rod Fraser went to the Bundy hospital to have a toe removed as he is diabetic.
Rod Fraser went to the Bundy hospital to have a toe removed as he is diabetic. Mike Knott

Mr Fraser was shocked and had no idea why he was no longer eligible to drive.

"After some digging around I got to the bottom of it and found out the hospital had reported my blood level as unsafe," Mr Fraser said.

He was upset because he wasn't informed of the issue by the hospital.

"I was gobsmacked at first but now I'm depressed," Mr Fraser said.

The loss of licence means Mr Fraser is not able to get to doctor's appointments.

He has also lost Centrelink payments because he can't make the appointments.

"My foot is healed but still sore to walk on and I can't get around," Mr Fraser said.


"The doctors are pushing me from one to another to get the all clear, and I can't afford the specialist endocrinologist appointment or can't make it to others."

Mr Fraser fears in the future there won't be any diabetics driving on the roads and his aim is to raise awareness "so other diabetics don't fall in to the same trap".

"Make sure you ask questions at hospital," he said.

"I was discharged without question.

"If there was an issue why didn't they raise it with me at the time?"

A hospital spokesman said Mr Fraser had three consultations with a diabetes educator after surgery.

He said the educator told Mr Fraser about the need to monitor blood sugar levels and the risk of driving with low blood sugar levels.

"Mr Fraser refused offers to be provided with his own blood glucose monitor or to have his blood glucose level tested while he was in attendance," the spokesman said.

"In addition, he said he had not had an eye check recently and displayed symptoms of peripheral neuropathy - which can cause weakness, numbness or pain in the limbs, such as hands or feet.

"Due to Mr Fraser's refusal to test or monitor his blood glucose level, his symptoms and his lack of a GP, the Department of Transport and Main Roads was provided with advice of our clinician's concerns.

"Mr Fraser advised our staff on January 15 his licence had been cancelled and attended Bundaberg Hospital on the following two days to request a letter allowing more time to hold his licence until he could get his blood sugar tested.

"A member of our staff explained that only an endocrinologist could provide this letter.

"On these occasions Mr Fraser was offered either an appointment with a WBHHS endocrinologist at Bundaberg Hospital or as an alternative an appointment with an endocrinologist at a non-WBHHS facility. These offers were declined."