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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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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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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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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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