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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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Medicare Benefits Schedule Review Taskforce

Reporting to the Minister for Health, the Taskforce consists of a cross-section of private and public practitioners, academics and consumer representatives, Via the Taskforce, clinical committees and working groups are required to make recommendations as to whether MBS items are obsolete and should be removed, as well as identify any services that require priority reviews, develop a program considering ...

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HR Toolbox Edition 5 - 2017

1.  Latest decisions. Disciplinary meeting attendance a must The Federal Court of Australia has held that failure to attend a disciplinary meeting amounted to repudiation of a dentist’s employment contract. The contract contained a clause to “obey the reasonable directions” of the employer. The disciplinary meeting sought to address staff concerns that the dentist’s ...

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Referral for surgery - competent professional practice

The defendant, a specialist respiratory physician, referred the plaintiff to a cardiothoracic surgeon for treatment of a lung mass following the defendant’s diagnosis of Stage II large cell lung cancer, based on clinical assessment and medical investigations. The plaintiff subsequently underwent left lower lobectomy and lymph node dissection surgery. Post-surgery, analysis of the tissue dissected found that there was no cancer....

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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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Appeal against alleged failure to diagnose melanoma

The NSWCA’s central inquiry in the appeal was about the appearance of the lesion when the deceased first attended his GP. Due to the inadequacy of the notes taken by the four doctors who had treated the deceased, evidence about the appearance of the lesion was dependent on the recollections of the doctors and the deceased’s wife. The NSWCA ultimately accepted the evidence of the treating ...

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Battery and negligence - Incisional hernia repair

The operation was performed by a surgical registrar under the supervision of a specialist general surgeon. Post-operatively, the plaintiff developed a severe infection associated with the placement of surgical mesh over the region of the hernia dissection. The plaintiff re-presented to the hospital on two further occasions after the operation. The plaintiff’s primary case was in battery alleging ...

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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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Be Careful of New Employees Bearing Gifts

Two ex-employees of the appellant Lifeplan, a company engaged in the business of fund management and the provision of investment products including funeral bonds and pre-paid funeral products, joined Foresters, another friendly society in late 2010. Foresters’ business included similar investment products and pre-paid funeral products as that provided by Lifeplan. Shortly prior to leaving ...

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HR Toolbox Edition 4 - 2017

1.  Latest decisions. Here to stay: casual conversion clauses introduced in modern awards The Fair Work Commission (FWC) has found that casual employees on modern awards should be entitled to elect to convert to full-time or part-time employment, subject to certain rules and restrictions. Casual employees will be eligible to convert to permanent employment sufficient to a qualifying ...

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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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