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AHPRA Annual Report for 2015/16

Highlights of the past year include: There were about 20,000 new registrants in the past year, with a total of 65,274 applications for registrations received across all professions., There was a tightening of the criminal history checking process, resulting in the restricted registration of ten practitioners and refusal of one registration., Renewal processes were improved, by updating correspondence ...

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Notifiable Data Breaches – New reporting obligations proposed for entities under the Privacy Act

The Privacy Amendment (Notifiable Data Breaches) Bill 2016 (‘the Bill’) was introduced in the Australian Parliament on 19 October 2016 and is currently before the House of Representatives. The Bill proposes mandatory data breach notification provisions for agencies, organisations and other entities already regulated under the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) (‘the Act’). The Bill is ...

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Does a practitioner’s mental illness automatically mean impairment?

The practitioner had a long history of mental illness, with periods of hospitalisation and community treatment orders (CTO) dating back to 1998. She suffered from a serious chronic psychotic disorder characterised by paranoid delusions and disorganised behaviour. As a result of her illness, various conditions had been imposed on her registration during periods between 1999 to 2012. Most recently, ...

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Epilepsy intervention study leads to $1.6M payout

The patient suffered from epilepsy due to an antenatal stroke. At age 21, she underwent telemetry testing to determine her eligibility for surgical intervention. The testing required her brain activity to be monitored during a seizure. Whilst under Hospital care and supervision, a seizure was induced through medication withdrawal and sleep deprivation.  At 4:03am on 5 January 2010, the patient commenced a seizure episode which lasted for two hours and 44 minutes....

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The duty of the court to self-represented litigants

In late 2008, the applicant noticed swelling on the left side of his face and neck extending along the jaw line to a point near the left ear. Following an ultrasound examination, the applicant was referred to hospital. He attended the hospital on 12 February 2009 and was examined by Mr Chan, an ENT surgeon. Fine needle aspiration of the lump was performed and a diagnosis made of “features suggest abscess”....

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Professional Services Review Annual Report 2015-16

In 2015/16 there was an increase in the number of investigations of Chronic Disease Management and MBS Health Assessment items. Many practitioners providing high numbers of these services were found to use computer-generated templates leading to plans with minimal content specific to the patient for whom it had been prepared. Further, some team care arrangement plans were made without ...

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Fake Nurse convicted and ordered to pay over $40,000

Two separate actions were brought against Nicholas Crawford by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia, one in Queensland and one in Western Australia in relation to 14 offences arising from his falsely claiming to be a registered health professional. Mr Crawford pleaded guilty to ‘holding himself out’ as a registered nurse in Queensland and using the protected titles of ‘nurse’ and ‘registered nurse’....

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Doctor suspended for falsifying medical records

In a recent Tribunal decision, the Medical Board’s decision to take immediate action against a practitioner by suspending his registration was upheld because the Tribunal considered the practitioner’s dishonest and unethical conduct in falsifying medical records meant suspension was necessary to protect public health or safety. The practitioner had applied to the Tribunal to set aside the Medical Board’s decision....

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Bleach treatment of elderly patient leads to disciplinary action

A NSW Professional Standards Committee recently found a Registered Nurse guilty of unsatisfactory professional conduct in relation to a complaint about her care and treatment of a patient in an Aged Care Service. The patient was an elderly lady with deteriorating health who required assistance with all personal care. She also suffered from MRSA, a chronic skin condition which caused her torso to be covered with open wounds and scabs....

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Patient who suffered a stroke fails in her medical negligence claim against cardiologist

In September 2006, the patient was referred to the cardiologist for investigation of possible involvement of her heart in neurological symptoms which she had recently experienced. In her claim the patient alleged the cardiologist failed to carry out sufficient investigations and failed to diagnose or to prescribe treatment for a patent foramen ovale (PFO). On 7 June 2007 the patient suffered a stroke which left her significantly disabled....

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Amendment of patient medical records under the FOI Act

Under the Freedom of Information Act 1992 (WA), a person has the right to apply to a government agency to amend any inaccurate, incomplete, out of date or misleading information personal information in their medical records. An agency may amend personal information by doing things such as striking out or deleting information, or inserting a note in relation to information. Information, however, ...

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State Administrative Tribunal Annual Report 2015-2016

Vocational Regulation matters, which include disciplinary and professional regulation of health practitioners, lawyers, security agents and real estate and settlement agents, comprised only 3% of matters in the Tribunal for 2015/16 period, with 80% of those matters able to be resolved within 25 weeks of the date of lodgement - 2 weeks shorter than the Tribunal's benchmark. Matters ...

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