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Chiropractor convicted of unlawful advertising

A recent case in which a chiropractor was convicted of false advertising for claiming to be able to prevent, treat and cure cancer serves as a reminder for practitioners to make sure they properly understand their obligations and follow the National Boards’ guidelines for advertising. Section 133 of the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (National Law) bans advertising that creates an unreasonable expectation of beneficial treatment....

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What is the scope of cancellation of registration when a practitioner is registered in more than one health profession?

The HCCC sought deregistration of the practitioner as both a midwife and as a nurse. It argued that the findings concerning the practitioner's conduct as a midwife were equally applicable to her knowledge and skills in the practice of nursing. The Tribunal noted that the HCCC had referred only to the practitioner's conduct in midwifery in the complaints and had only raised the issue of cancellation ...

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When a doctor can disclose information in the public interest

The revised guidance provides useful clarification on when doctors can disclose information in the public interest to protect individuals or society from risks of serious harm. The benefits to an individual or to society of the disclosure must outweigh both the patient’s and the public interest in keeping the information confidential. For example, if a disclosure would be likely to be necessary ...

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GP ordered to repay $450,000 for inappropriate billing

Dr Nicholas Sevdalis maintained that he made handwritten records which he subsequently transferred to an electronic record. However, the Committee held that the handwritten documents which were tendered in evidence were not contemporaneous and were “recent fabrications”. Dr Sevdalis unsuccessfully appealed the Committee’s decision to the Federal Court, and ultimately appealed to the Full Bench of the Federal Court....

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Dentist sues for defamation for negative online review

A Melbourne dentist has taken defamation action against a patient who posted a negative online review. Many practitioners seek to use legal strategies to combat a negative online review and preserve their reputation and business.  A claim for defamation is complex, costly and can take years to resolve. Even if defamation is proved, it does not necessarily follow that the court will award very large damages....

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New WA Medicine and Poisons Regulations

A key aim of the regulations is to control the potential for the misuse of hard drugs by implementing a system to identify and regulate ‘doctor shopping’.   Health Minister John Day says the legislation “establishes the legal framework for the transfer of information about the prescribing and dispensing of controlled drugs such as morphine and dexamphetamine, through the use of real-time reporting systems....

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Hospital wins appeal in appendicitis case

The claim arose from the alleged negligent care the Plaintiff received as a patient at Fremantle Hospital (the Hospital) in 2009 when it was said that staff delayed in the diagnosis of his appendicitis. It was alleged that the Hospital was negligent by: failing to diagnose appendicitis on his admission on 31 July 2009;, incorrectly interpreting the CT scans of the Plaintiff's abdomen on 31 July ...

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Dependency tables used to assess damages in fatal accident claims to be updated

The late Mr Norris died from liver disease in 2011, at the age of 52. He was survived by his wife, Dr Norris, and their two teenage sons. In 2013 Dr Norris sued Dr Routley, her late husband’s treating specialist, who accepted that his negligent failure to refer Mr Norris for a liver transplant was a cause of his untimely death. At first instance, the trial judge awarded Dr Norris damages in sum of $21,757....

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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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Top 10 Mistakes To Avoid When Selling A Medical Practice

1. Not being ready. Selling a medical practice is a big decision. All the more reason why you should take the time and effort to thoroughly prepare for the sale, and have all documentation ready for the handover. Failing that there may be setbacks and obstacles that delay the transaction, which will inevitably cost money. It is important to work through these issues methodically and not rush into a sale....

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Accreditation to work at private hospital does not give rise to a contract

The anaesthetist, who had worked at the Hospital for many years, claimed he had been bullied by two nurses at the Hospital in 2013 and 2014 and, as a consequence of his complaint to hospital management, he lost the opportunity to work on a particular surgery list conducted by another doctor. Prior to his complaint a significant portion of his work at the hospital was as anaesthetist to this surgeon....

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