Abstract A Sydney-based general practitioner has successfully appealed a finding of negligence based on an alleged failure to refer a patient for specialist treatment in the context of particular pathology results (which predated his involvement in the patient’s care) on a background of a chronic and prolonged health condition. District Court proceedings  Mr […]
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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 […]
INSIGHT: A reminder about the potential strength of ‘usual practice’ evidence
Phelan v Melbourne Health  VSCA 205 Defending or even assessing the merits of an action in medical negligence can often be challenging when the medical practitioners involved cannot recall the particular patient concerned. Through no one’s fault, memory can be impeded by the lapse of time and high patient volume loads. As such, it […]
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 […]
INSIGHT: Handling sensitive health information about patients and customers – do you understand your obligations?
The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (the OAIC) has released a Guide to Health Privacy to assist health care providers to understand their obligations under the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) (the Privacy Act) regarding the handling of sensitive health information about their patients and customers. Health care providers range from doctors, hospitals, allied health […]
INSIGHT: You have received a notification – what now?
The practice of pharmacy is highly regulated and modern society is becoming increasingly litigious. With that in mind, pharmacists should anticipate that they may be contacted by a statutory authority or investigator at some stage during their careers. In 2017-18, 1.9% of pharmacists in Australia were the subject of notification to AHPRA. Common statutory authorities […]
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 . ‘Health services’ encompasses complaints about health services provided by: Medical practices, medical […]
INSIGHT: Striking the balance: Do the recent amendments to mandatory reporting obligations go far enough?
Despite significant resistance by key stakeholders, amendments to mandatory reporting obligations in respect of registered health practitioners treating other health practitioners for medical conditions, including mental health issues, have now been passed by the Queensland parliament. This article follows Meridian Lawyers’ earlier Health Insights article (which can be read here), wherein we discussed the Council […]
INSIGHT: Ask for help, and ask early – advice for surviving an AHPRA notification
Meridian Lawyers regularly assists health practitioners who have been the subject of notification to statutory health authorities such as AHPRA, HCCC and the OHO. Our role is to help these practitioners understand, respond to and navigate the complaints process. Unfortunately, we regularly hear clients express distress that they are the subject of complaint. Many suffer […]
INSIGHT: A gift bejewelled with risk
In what circumstances should a gift from a patient be politely declined? Doctors are entrusted with acting in their patients’ best interests. They work hard to treat their patients’ sicknesses and keep them healthy. As a result of doctors’ care, their long-term patients often display a profound sense of gratitude; a more emotional feeling than […]
INSIGHT: Revocation of registration as a registered provider of supports under the NDIS
Under section 72 of the National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013 (NDIS Act) the Chief Executive Officer of the National Disability Insurance Agency (CEO) has a discretion to revoke the approval of a registered provider of supports under the NDIS Act. The CEO may revoke the approval if satisfied that: the person or entity no […]