Insights Categories: Disciplinary

Sep 25, 2020

INSIGHT: VCAT upholds use of immediate action power to suspend doctor over social media use

Meridian Lawyers recently published an article examining the power to take immediate action against health practitioners under section 156 of the National Law (if you missed it, that article can be read here). It considered a recent VCAT decision[1], wherein a doctor was suspended under section 156(1)(e), being the power to take immediate action in […]

Jul 31, 2020

INSIGHT: Listen to the experts: Chatoor v Health Care Complaints Commission of NSW [2020] 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 […]

Jul 20, 2020

INSIGHT: What do I do if there is an accidental breach of my patient’s privacy? Advice for health practitioners and organisations

It is trite advice to Australian health practitioners to say that they must exercise caution when dealing with their patients’ sensitive health information. However, even the most cautious practitioner or organisation can fall victim to an inadvertent breach of patient privacy.  Accidents happen, and Meridian Lawyers frequently receives requests for assistance from practitioners or organisations […]

Jun 18, 2020

INSIGHT: Taking action against health practitioners in the “public interest” – two years on, how is the new immediate action power being applied in practice?

One of the most stressful circumstances a registered health practitioner can encounter, is when they receive a notice from their National Board stating that it intends to take immediate action against them under section 156 of the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (National Law). The proposed immediate action can be very serious, ranging from a […]

May 15, 2020

INSIGHT: A warning to health practitioners: is your professional indemnity insurance in place?

The Victorian Civil & Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) has sent a loud message to all health practitioners to actively check that their professional indemnity insurance (PII) arrangements are in order by suspending a psychologist who failed to do so[1]. The practitioner in question had delegated the task of paying all insurance renewals to a family member, […]

Feb 21, 2020

INSIGHT: AHPRA releases revised Guidelines for Mandatory Notifications about registered health practitioners

On 21 February 2020, the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) released revised guidelines in anticipation of changes to mandatory notification requirements coming into effect in March 2020. The revised guidelines explain the requirements to make mandatory notifications under the updated legislative requirements for treating registered health practitioners, non-treating registered health practitioners, employers of registered […]

Feb 13, 2020

INSIGHT: Regulation of unregistered health practitioners in WA – is the current system adequate?

The mechanisms for complaints and statutory protections available for health care consumers, vary across Australia. In order to better protect the public and to set standards of conduct and practice for all unregistered health service providers, the Council of Australian Government (COAG) Health Council Final Report (COAG Final Report) recommended that every state implement the […]

Jan 31, 2020

INSIGHT: Soutorine and The Medical Board of Australia [2020] WASAT 5

Facts Mikhail Soutorine is a medical practitioner (the practitioner).  In November 2019, the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) on behalf of the Medical Board of Australia (the Board) wrote to the practitioner and advised him that the Board had decided to take immediate action under section 156 of the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law […]

Nov 18, 2019

INSIGHT: VCAT confirms that disciplinary consequences may befall practitioners who treat their own family

In 2019 we have seen an increased focus by AHPRA and the National Boards on ensuring the observance of professional boundaries between registered health service providers and their patients.  In our experience, investigations into professional boundary transgressions are most commonly triggered when a romantic relationship between the practitioner and the patient turns sour. However, these […]

Oct 28, 2019

INSIGHT: Nurse slammed for profiting under patient’s will and pressuring peers

Meridian Lawyers recently published a Health Insights article discussing the risks involved when health care professionals receive and retain gifts from their patients. Since then, the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) has issued a decision which serves to not only underscore that counsel, but also to highlight the severe reprimands which may follow findings […]

Sep 25, 2019

INSIGHT: What happens to healthcare complaints in Western Australia?

The Health and Disability Services Complaints Office (HaDSCO) handles complaints about health, disability and mental health services in Western Australia. Consumers of health services in Western Australia can make complaints about individuals or organisations that provide health, disability or mental health services [1]. ‘Health services’ encompasses complaints about health services provided by: Medical practices, medical […]

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