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Medical Board “Bonk Ban”: what you need to know

It has always been essential for doctors to maintain professional boundaries and not establish or pursue any sexual, exploitative or other inappropriate relationship with someone under their care. Such relationships are always unethical and usually harmful to patients and the wider community because of issues surrounding power imbalance, trust, safety and quality of health care. However, the new ...

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Doctor denied procedural fairness by Tribunal

Proceedings had been commenced in the Tribunal by the Medical Board alleging a breach of professional boundaries, sexual misconduct, misleading entries in clinical notes and making false statements to AHPRA and the Board. Following conferral between the parties, a document entitled "Minute of Proposed Orders" was signed by the solicitors acting for the parties. The Minute took the form of an order ...

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No obligation on Tribunal to make all or any combination of protective orders available

Following the making of findings of professional misconduct against a registered nurse who had commenced a sexual relationship with a patient under his care in a psychiatric facility, the nurse consented to a package of orders which included (1) cancellation, (2) disqualification and (3) prohibition. Despite the nurse's consent and the absence of any argument about protective orders, the Tribunal made only one of the protective orders, being (1) cancellation....

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Immediate action against practitioner after suspension of medical licence in US

The immediate action process arose from a notification the Board received in August 2016 that the practitioner, who was practicing in both the US and Australia, had had his medical licence summarily suspended in June 2016 by Judge Mandala, an Administrative Law Judge of the Alaskan Office of Administrative Hearings. The practitioner’s suspension in Alaska followed an investigation into his prescribing ...

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New Codes of Conduct for Nurses and Midwives

The Codes are founded on evidence-based practice and specify the legal requirements, professional behaviour and conduct expectations for all nurses and midwives across Australia, in all practice settings. The Codes will replace the existing Code of Professional Conduct for Nurses, Code of Professional Conduct for Midwives, and the professional boundaries documents. The Board’s intention is ...

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Changes to the National Law for increased power to take immediate action and to establish Paramedicine Board

The amendments to the National Law include: Changes to strengthen the management of complaints (notifications) and disciplinary enforcement powers of AHPRA and National Boards, including:, Provision of practice information: A National Board may require a health practitioner to provide details of their practice arrangements, regardless of how they are engaged to practise. This will mean ...

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Tribunal makes orders for reprimand and rehabilitation

In Medical Board of Australia v GMZ, a practitioner was found to have self-administered schedule 4 drugs over a period of 6 years that had not been legitimately prescribed to him.  The practitioner had also made false representations to obtain the drugs and forged prescriptions on his father’s prescription pad. The practitioner’s name was suppressed on the basis that its publication would be deleterious to his rehabilitation....

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Neurosurgeon suspended following colleague’s fatal drug overdose

In July 2012 the neurosurgeon became close friends with a neurosurgical registrar (Dr A). Between October 2012 and February 2013 the pair consumed the drug GHB whilst socialising outside work and on weekends. The pair developed a dependency on GHB and discussed trying to wean themselves off using the pharmaceutical drug Pregabalin. On 21 April 2013, Dr A was found deceased from a heroin overdose. The ...

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Senate Standing Committee reports on AHPRA complaints management.

Following review of numerous submissions from stakeholders and two public hearings, the Senate Standing Committee has found that AHPRA's failure to provide information and transparency in its complaints process has led to both practitioners and notifiers losing confidence in the system. Criticism was also raised of the length of time taken to process complaints. The committee formulated 14 recommendations ...

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