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Hospital’s breach was not causative of psychiatric patient’s attempted suicide

Daniel Smith, 25, reported depression, crying and insomnia to his GP on 15 April 2008. This was secondary to his break up with his ex-fiancée, pain from a motor vehicle accident in 2006, associated court proceedings, and his excessive consumption of alcohol. On 30 October 2008, Mr Smith consulted his GP reporting insomnia and anger following another break up with his ex-fiancée. He was ...

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HR Toolbox: Edition 3 - 2017

1.  Latest Decisions   Breach of Social Media Policy May be Cause for Dismissal The FWC confirms that social media activity may be grounds for termination, if the employer has conducted a full investigation to understand the context of any perceived inappropriate comments. In a recent case, the employee made “ridiculous” posts on Facebook including one announcing that “We all support ISIS” which led to his dismissal....

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Defaming a doctor online proves costly

In March 2010, Mr Mazzella underwent a hip arthroscopy, performed by orthopaedic surgeon, Dr Al Muderis. Subsequently, the patient claimed that the surgeon performed the operation negligently, causing numbness in his genitals and decreased sexual function. Dr Al Muderis sent the patient for various neurology and urology tests, which found no evidence of nerve damage. Mr Mazzella commenced legal ...

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Premature Deaths of Nursing Home Residents

The study published in the recent Medical Journal of Australia examined nursing home residents whose deaths had been reported to state coroners from 2001-2013. The study found that the incidence of premature (death which occurred sooner than necessary) and preventable deaths has increased over the past decade. It was identified that 15.2% of deaths occurred due to external causes and of those deaths: The three highest proportioned causes were falls (81....

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Surgeon and anaesthetist negligent for failure to abandon operation

The patient, Mr Hobson, was born with Noonan Syndrome, a genetic disorder which manifested in a severe lordoscoliosis and idiosyncratic shape of his chest as a result of which he had developed difficulties breathing. Mr Hobson’s condition had deteriorated to the point where he required operations to remedy this defect. The first surgery was performed on 13 November 2009 and was carried out uneventfully....

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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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Abuse of Process in Disciplinary Proceedings

SAT proceedings were commenced by the Medical Board of Australia (MBA)  against the Practitioner in late 2014 following receipt of a notification from the patient's widow in 2012. The notification related to the performance of an angioplasty procedure for the patient in 2005. In July 2015 the MBA amended the application to include further claims, being the "False Representation Claim" and the "Inadequate Training Claim"....

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Medical Board and AHPRA adopt all recommendations of chaperone report

The Medical Board of Australia (MBA) and Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) recently released the report Independent review of the use of chaperones to protect patients in Australia and have accepted all its recommendations. The review found the use of chaperones does not meet community expectations and does not always keep patients safe. The review considered whether, and ...

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Responsible advertising of health services

The Advertising compliance and enforcement strategy for the National Scheme explains how National Boards and AHPRA will manage advertising complaints and compliance, including the regulatory powers available to deal with breaches of the National Law. Under the National Law, a regulated health service or a business providing a regulated health service must not advertise in a way that: is ...

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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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Hospital negligent over amputation of child’s thumb

The plaintiff had sustained a severe complex crushing injury to his left thumb and was diagnosed with fractures. Following his presentation to the hospital, the plaintiff’s surgery for wound exploration, washout and fixation of his fractures was postponed until the next morning due to the later arrival of other emergencies that hospital staff had assessed as having higher priority. The plaintiff also received antibiotic therapy at the hospital....

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New AMA Code of Ethics for Doctors

For the first time since 2006, the Code has been substantially revised, culminating in the Code of Ethics 2004. Editorially Revised 2006. Revised 2016. AMA President, Dr Michael Gannon, says that a Code of Ethics is essential for setting and maintaining the very high standards of ethical behaviour that society expects from the medical profession. The updated AMA Code of Ethics for the first time ...

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