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Alleged failure to diagnose melanoma

The New South Wales Supreme Court (NSWSC) has found that a doctor did not breach his duty of care in his diagnosis of the presence of a plantar wart instead of melanoma in the deceased's foot. The Court accepted that at the times the treating doctors saw the lesion on the deceased’s foot from 3 September 2009 up to and including 11 February 2011, it had the appearance of a plantar wart and ...

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COAG Health Council meeting considers paramedics, midwives and chiropractors

At the COAG Health Council meeting on 7 October 2016, Health Ministers agreed to proceed with amendments to the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (the National Law) to bring paramedics into the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme (NRAS) for health professions, alongside 14 other regulated health professions. A draft amendment bill is expected to be brought forward to Ministers for approval early in 2017....

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Importance of providing coroner with detailed evidence of root cause analysis and corrective action

The inquest In Inquest into the death of Michael James Calder, Deputy State Coroner Lock of the Coroners Court in Queensland considered the circumstances of Mr Calder’s death in the Holy Spirit Northside Private Hospital (hospital) in July 2014. Mr Calder was aged 33 years and had been referred by his GP to the hospital with a three day history of severe occipital headaches, neck pain and stiffness with increasing severity of his headache....

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Nurses disciplined for using restraints on vulnerable patient with dementia

The patient was initially restrained for some two hours in the Ward’s lounge room. Thereafter while he was still being restrained in a chair by means of a pelvic posey, the two nurses used a second pelvic posey to fasten the chair to railing in a corridor near the nurses station. The patient was left there for about nine hours. Contrary to general principles, common sense and various applicable ...

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Mother awarded $1.8m in damages after her baby dies in hospital

Background. In mid-April 2010, the mother suffered from a severe attack of gastroenteritis. She was required to attend Wagga Wagga Base Hospital every day for a period of three weeks. Daily CTG monitoring of her baby was carried out and an ultrasound was performed every second day. On 14 May 2010, she underwent a series of tests, including another ultrasound. A doctor told her she was fine and could go....

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RACGP calls for electronic-only patient communication

The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) has released a position paper calling for all healthcare services and government agencies that communicate patient information with general practices to eliminate paper forms and faxes within the next three years and to replace them with highly secure digital communications. The RACGP’s position statement on the use of secure electronic ...

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Abuse of MBS privileges improper and unethical

A nurse practitioner was found to have engaged in professional misconduct after billing Medicare inappropriately and engaging in multiple boundary violations. The nurse practitioner provided therapy at centres providing crisis and homeless accommodation to adults and worked in collaboration with 3 psychiatrists. He also provided psychotherapy at his own Clinic where the majority of patients were referred from the crisis centres....

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Review on the use of chaperones: should the chaperone system be scrapped?

Currently, 47 doctors Australia-wide are under conditions requiring a chaperone as a temporary protective measure, allowing them to continue to practise whilst misconduct allegations are investigated by AHPRA. The Chaperone system requires strict monitoring and compliance, as set out in AHPRA's Chaperone Protocol. Last month, AHPRA and the Medical Board of Australia announced a review of the use of chaperones....

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Public Health Act 2016

To provide a flexible and proactive framework for the regulation of public health, the West Australian Parliament has passed the Public Health Act 2016 with the object ‘to protect, promote and improve the health and wellbeing of the public of Western Australia and to reduce the incidence of preventable illness, and for related purposes’. The change is said to be necessary as the existing ...

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Updated Driver Medical Standards from 1 October

Revised guidelines for use by medical, health professionals and driver licensing authorities have been published detailing updated medical standards for the purposes of assessing fitness to drive. The new edition of Assessing Fitness to Drive comes into effect on 1 October 2016. A summary of the changes may be found here.

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Palliative care in best interests of the child

We have previously blogged about the earlier decisions in this matter. Oshin Kiszko was diagnosed with medulloblastoma in December 2015 and underwent surgical removal of the brain tumour. His parents refused conventional post-surgical treatment, and in March 2016 the Family Court made an interim order authorising commencement of chemotherapy. In May 2016, the Family Court refused to order radiotherapy ...

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A Sign of Discrimination?

Following a complaint to the Australian Human Rights Commission which terminated in September 2015, the appellant filed an application in the Federal Circuit Court seeking a declaration and orders against the respondent, a private hospital, for alleged unlawful discrimination. It was alleged that the respondent had discriminated against her as an associate of a person with a disability, being her ...

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