In 2017 Professor Ron Paterson delivered the Independent review of the use of chaperones to protect patients in Australia report (the Chaperone Report), which made 28 recommendations to AHPRA and the Medical Board of Australia (the MBA) for improving the handling of sexual boundary notifications in Australia. Among other things, the Chaperone Report recommended that […]
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INSIGHT: Listen to the experts: Chatoor v Health Care Complaints Commission of NSW  NSWCA 111
The NSW Court of Appeal (“NSWCA”) recently overturned a decision of the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (“the Tribunal”) in relation to two complaints concerning Dr Roger Chatoor (a cardiologist). Dr Chatoor appealed the Tribunal’s findings of unsatisfactory professional conduct on the primary basis that it had failed to correctly apply the relevant statutory test […]
INSIGHT: Private Health Insurer audits – a reminder to exercise caution and to ask for help
The world of private health insurance is becoming increasingly competitive. As the marketplace burgeons with new providers, so too does the number of private health insurance audit requests issued to the health practitioners who service their members. Meridian Lawyers regularly assists practitioners to respond to requests for information from private health insurers (PHIs), which has […]
INSIGHT: Health practitioner seeks help from the Federal Court to uncover identity of negative Google reviewer
Meridian Lawyers regularly assists health practitioners to respond to queries or complaints by AHPRA about their online advertising. In the process of providing this assistance, we are often asked by practitioners whether anything can be done about unfair testimonials that may be made about them on independent online platforms like Google. In an age where […]
INSIGHT: Audio and Video Records – are they legal?
It may seem an easier way in this technologically savvy world we inhabit, to simply record information or other data about patients, either by audio or visual means. This is attractive as records are correct and comprehensive and may be utilised in the defence of any complaint. However, there are legalities surrounding such records and […]
INSIGHT: Professional Performance under the Spotlight | Inquiry into the actions of the regulator and local health district
From 1999 onwards, Dr Emil Gayed worked in public and private hospitals across NSW. During that time, complaints and concerns were raised regarding Dr Gayed’s professional practice and performance. Dr Gayed was disqualified from practice following a Tribunal finding that Dr Gayed had engaged in numerous incidences of unsatisfactory professional conduct, and that together they […]
INSIGHT: Is the ‘irrational’ exception feasible?
The concept of ‘Competent Professional Practice’ has been considered by Courts in a number of recent NSW cases determining medical negligence. In a recent medical negligence case South Western Sydney Local Health District v Gould  NSWCA 69 (Gould), the NSW Court of Appeal (NSWCA) considered the interpretation of the statutory ‘irrational’ exception to the […]
INSIGHT: Professional Opinions – how much weight do they carry?
Hopes of helpful review of the current interpretation of the words “competent professional practice” as they appear in section 5O of the Civil Liability Act 2002 (NSW) (the Act) were dashed, as special leave to appeal was denied by the High Court of Australia (HCA) from a NSW Court of Appeal (NSWCA) medical malpractice case. […]
INSIGHT: Sparks v Hobson; Gray v Hobson  NSWCA 29: Is this a prelude to the expansion of the peer professional opinion defence in NSW?
A recent decision by the NSW Court of Appeal has given rise to hopes that the current interpretation of the words “competent professional practice” as they appear in section 5O of the Civil Liability Act 2002 (NSW) (the Act) may soon be revised. Two members of the judiciary commented critically on the standing interpretation of […]
INSIGHT: NSW Health Services Organisations face key changes to Root Cause Analysis procedures
Recently passed amendments to the Health Administration Act 1982 (NSW) have been celebrated by the NSW government as an improvement to the efficiency and timeliness of Root Cause Analysis systems in NSW health services organisations. The amendments come off the back of extensive consultation with stakeholders, including the NSW Nurses and Midwives Association, Australian Medical […]
INSIGHT: Accepting gifts from patients – before you partake of that bottle of wine, stop and consider a few factors
Most GPs experience infrequent offers of gifts from their patients over the course of their career. Occasional gifts of wine, home-cooked cakes, chocolates and flowers are commonplace in most GP clinics. However, some patients have a tendency to give gifts more frequently, or of greater commercial value, than others. This starts to pose difficult questions […]