Insights Sectors: Medical Practitioners

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 […]

Sep 22, 2020

INSIGHT: UK High Court applies established duty of care principles to legalise professional guidance which permits disclosure of confidential information to a proximate third party without consent

ABC v NHS — Background The UK High Court[1] applied established duty of care principles to legalise professional guidance which permits disclosure of confidential information to a proximate third party without consent, in circumstances where the medical professional has properly undertaken the requisite balancing exercise of risks and interests affecting the patient, third party and […]

Sep 7, 2020

INSIGHT: Three years on from the chaperone review, AHPRA celebrates changes to the regulatory landscape of sexual boundaries notifications

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 […]

Aug 28, 2020

INSIGHT: Accidentally sending an email to the wrong email address can cost you

Key lessons from ‘SD’ and ‘SE’ and Northside Clinic (Vic) Pty Ltd [2020] AlCmr 21 We recently published an article about the importance of protecting your patients’ private information, and what to do if there is an inadvertent disclosure of sensitive patient data. If you missed it, that article can be read here. In June […]

Aug 17, 2020

INSIGHT: Professional Services Review (PSR) launches telehealth review

Professional Services Review (PSR) is a Commonwealth Agency whose objective is to protect the integrity of the Commonwealth Medicare benefits, dental benefits and pharmaceutical benefits programs and, in doing so, protect patients and the community from the risks associated with ‘inappropriate practice’, and protect the Commonwealth from having to meet the cost of medical and […]

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 28, 2020

INSIGHT: Coroner’s findings emphasise the potential risks of relying on telehealth without in-patient review

Recently we published an article outlining some of the risks and limitations for medical practitioners using telehealth to provide care for patients during the COVID-19 pandemic.  In particular, we discussed the need for practitioners to consider and assess whether a consultation is safe and clinically appropriate to be conducted via telehealth, or whether an in-person […]

Apr 30, 2020

INSIGHT: Using the new MBS telehealth item numbers to care for patients from home? Here are some of the risks and limitations for medical practitioners

As part of the national health response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Australian Government has rolled out new temporary Medicare Benefit Scheme (MBS) ‘telehealth’ items.  The purpose of these item numbers is to enable patients to receive essential health care during the pandemic whilst reducing the community transmission of COVID-19.  At this stage, the item […]

Apr 16, 2020

INSIGHT: A reminder on section 130 of the National Law: notify the National Boards of ‘certain events’, or face a possible finding of unprofessional conduct

Most registered health practitioners are aware of the obligation to notify the National Board of certain events should they occur.  These requirements are set out in section 130 of the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law Act 2009 (the “National Law”).  However, we have recently seen an ‘uptick’ in the number of disciplinary decisions which have […]

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