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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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Another inquiry into aged care? What is the Aged Care Royal Commission, and how will it be different?

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced the Government's decision to ask the Governor General to establish a Royal Commission into the aged care sector.  This is not the first government investigation into aged care in recent history. What is a Royal Commission? A Royal Commission is a public inquiry established under the Royal Commissions Act 1902 (Cth) (“Royal Commissions Act”)....

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Registered Nurse’s Conduct in a Drug Dispensing Arrangement Results in Professional Misconduct

An experienced mental health nurse and psychotherapist was involved in the care of a patient over a 13-year period, where the Patient had a complex history of mental health issues and drug dependency. The practitioner provided regular one-on-one care under the NSW Mental Health Nurse Incentive Plan, in partnership with the Patient’s GP. In August 2011, the Patient died of a drug overdose as a direct result of multiple drug toxicity, including illicit drugs....

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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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No basis for extension of time

On 12 June 2010 the plaintiff, then 9 weeks pregnant with a confirmed intrauterine pregnancy, was admitted to Geraldton Regional Hospital Emergency Department after experiencing severe chest and abdominal pain. She was observed for six hours and treated for indigestion. A pelvic ultrasound later revealed an ectopic pregnancy that had ruptured her left fallopian tube and caused significant internal bleeding....

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Consumer Protection announces review of retirement village contracts

Acting Commissioner for Consumer Protection David Hillyard advised that the investigation will examine various contracts offered by retirement village operators to see if they breach the "unfair contract terms" provisions of the Australian Consumer Law (ACL). One focus of the investigation will be the 'deferred management fees' or 'deferred residency fees' often payable when a resident vacates their unit....

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Overstepping Professional Boundaries leads to Professional Misconduct

The experienced GP was found guilty of professional misconduct for continuing to treat an elderly patient after he became aware that he was named as the dominant beneficiary in her will. The GP had commenced treating the patient in 1996. Over the course of time they formed a genuine friendship, socialising together and exchanging gifts. In or about 2002 or 2003 the GP became aware that he was named as a beneficiary in the patient’s will....

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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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GP Suspended for Slapping a Child's Face during Consulation

The child and his mother had attended for an appointment so that the GP might try to help the child swallow his ADHD medication. The GP attempted to teach the child how to swallow the medication over a period of about 50 minutes. The child refused and fidgeted in his chair. At one stage, the GP placed his feet on the top of the child's feet in an attempt to keep him still. The child continued to refuse ...

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Dentist sues for defamation for negative online review

A Melbourne dentist has taken defamation action against a patient who posted a negative online review. Many practitioners seek to use legal strategies to combat a negative online review and preserve their reputation and business.  A claim for defamation is complex, costly and can take years to resolve. Even if defamation is proved, it does not necessarily follow that the court will award very large damages....

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Accreditation to work at private hospital does not give rise to a contract

The anaesthetist, who had worked at the Hospital for many years, claimed he had been bullied by two nurses at the Hospital in 2013 and 2014 and, as a consequence of his complaint to hospital management, he lost the opportunity to work on a particular surgery list conducted by another doctor. Prior to his complaint a significant portion of his work at the hospital was as anaesthetist to this surgeon....

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AHPRA Annual Report for 2015/16

Highlights of the past year include: There were about 20,000 new registrants in the past year, with a total of 65,274 applications for registrations received across all professions., There was a tightening of the criminal history checking process, resulting in the restricted registration of ten practitioners and refusal of one registration., Renewal processes were improved, by updating correspondence ...

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