Insights Categories: Disciplinary

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

New powers used by Health Complaints Commissioner to stop unregistered service providers making false claims

The Victorian Health Complaints Commissioner (the Commissioner) can now issue general health warnings and ban unregistered service providers from treating patients, even before a complaint investigation is completed, if the Commissioner believes a health provider poses a serious danger to the public.  A breach of the new General Code of Conduct[1] (the Code) for providers […]

Statutory privilege does not prevent disclosure of records in VCAT proceedings

The Victorian of Court Appeal has settled the uncertainty regarding the protections provided by statutory privilege over medical records in the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT). The Victorian Court of Appeal has reversed a previous decision and confirmed that patients’ medical records are not protected by statutory privilege in a disciplinary hearing of the […]

Professional Misconduct – fact or fiction?

A Perth Cardiologist has recently been found to have engaged in professional misconduct by the Western Australian Administrative Tribunal. [1] The Medical Board of Australia (the Board) made out five of six allegations against Dr Woollard. Key Takeaways The case provides a reminder of the meaning of unsatisfactory professional conduct and professional misconduct under the […]

A reminder for pharmacists: exercise caution when dispensing Schedule 3 Poisons

The case scenario: A complaint was made to the Pharmacy Board of Australia (‘Board’) that a pharmacist provided an excessive quantity of Restavit, a Schedule 3 poison, and for a duration for which there was no established therapeutic need. The pharmacist explained to the Board that he had supplied the drug as he believed it was […]

A reminder to ensure the dental justification for treatment plan is clearly recorded

In this case, the Dental Board of Australia conducted an investigation after a patient notified the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA), alleging over-diagnosis by a dental practitioner. The key facts: A patient presented in 2015 for extraction of a heavily filled tooth which was now fractured and un-restorable. The tooth was extracted simply and without […]

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