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Tighter regulation on the horizon for unconventional or alternative medicine
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Tighter regulation on the horizon for unconventional or alternative medicine

The Medical Board of Australia (Board) is considering introducing new guidelines to establish clearer regulation of medical practitioners who provide complementary or unconventional medicine or emerging treatments (Proposed Guidelines). The Proposed Guidelines would supplement the Board’s current Code of Conduct, similar to the Sexual Boundaries Guidelines introduced by the Board late last year....

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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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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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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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Doctor suspended for forging signatures to patient consent forms

Over a period of 12 months, the practitioner caused 37 patient consent forms to be signed by a person other than that patient in respect of surgical operations, procedures or medical treatment. He then knowingly provided to the Alfred Health and/or to the Royal Women’s Hospital those forged consent forms, knowing that they would form part of the patients’ medical record of that hospital....

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Doctor suspended over alternative therapy advice

The patient had been diagnosed with a hepatoblastoma (a malignant tumour of her liver) in early August 2009. Doctors at Princess Margaret Hospital recommended chemotherapy. The patient's parents wished her to be treated with natural therapies and were opposed to chemotherapy. On 1 September 2009, the patient and her mother left for South America. The patient died on 12 November 2009. Subsequently, the Coroner made a referral to the Medical Board of Australia....

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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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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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Surgeon reprimanded and fined for permitting doctor not registered in Australia to perform operation

In a recent decision of the Professional Standards Committee Inquiry, a colorectal surgeon, Professor Morris, was found guilty of unsatisfactory professional conduct for knowingly enabling an overseas based doctor, Dr Sugarbaker, who was not registered under the National Law, to perform surgery on a patient. Professor Morris was involved in organising a colorectal surgery conference in Sydney in 2014....

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Doctor’s obligations in relation to medical reports and certificates

Background facts On 2 March 2015, the practitioner was consulted for a medical assessment regarding his suitability to continue to hold, possess and/or use a firearms licence.  At this attendance, the patient provided the practitioner with a letter from the Queensland Police Service (QPS) which had advised the patient that his firearms licence had been suspended. The QPS letter indicated that ...

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Medical practitioner consuming alcohol while on call

It was alleged that the practitioner had attended a social function, had consumed an amount of alcohol and was affected, and then, whilst on call, attended on a pregnant patient in a hospital.  It was also alleged that he conducted himself in an inappropriate manner in his interaction with the patient and her mother in that, at the consultation, he communicated with them in a way that was argumentative ...

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