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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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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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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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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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