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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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Warning of material risks: Morocz v Marshman

Factual background The patient consulted the cardiothoracic surgeon about her palmar hyperhidrosis (PHH) and was provided with a brochure about the bilateral endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy which outlined the risks of the procedure. The surgeon also discussed the risks involved with the procedure during the consultation. Following surgery the patient complained of a number of health issues which did not subside overtime....

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Doctor ordered to pay patient $10,000 compensation for privacy breach

The patient and the doctor had been acquainted through their common Islamic faith and their attendance at religious services. In 2011-2012 the patient had sought treatment from the doctor for ‘panic attacks’. In 2014-2015 the patient sent several emails to the doctor, relatives and friends after renouncing his Islamic faith. In reply to an e-mail, the doctor responded to the patient ...

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Medical negligence; failure of general practitioner to refer plaintiff for specialist treatment

Gulab Khan v Matthew Rathjen [2016] NSWDC 139 is a recent decision concerning a failure of a general practitioner to refer the plaintiff for specialist treatment after he sustained lacerations over his left hand when he grabbed a knife to avoid being stabbed during an armed robbery. The plaintiff consulted the general practitioner on two occasions in October 2011 and alleged that the general practitioner ...

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Addendum to Parens Patriae Applications – Alive and Well

The Hospital advised that the outcome of the chemotherapy had been pleasing but further chemotherapy alone would not save Oshin’s life and that a high level dose of radiotherapy was required to give him the best chance at survival. On this occasion Oshin’s parents had obtained a report from Professor Kellie, a specialist paediatric oncologist in Sydney. The report discussed the likely ...

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Guidelines for registered medical practitioners who perform cosmetic medical and surgical procedures

Cosmetic medical and surgical procedures are defined as operations and other procedures that revise or change the appearance, colour, texture, structure or position of normal bodily features with the dominant purpose of achieving what the patient perceives to be a more desirable appearance or boosting the patient’s self-esteem.  The Guidelines come into effect on 1 October 2016.  Key ...

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Parens Patriae Applications - Alive and Well

In March 2016 the Family Court of WA ordered that a six year old boy with a brain tumour undergo chemotherapy treatment after his parents had refused treatment and indicated that they wanted to pursue alternative therapies. Last week, the Qld Supreme Court ordered that a 12 year old girl may lawfully undergo an abortion when it was considered that this form of medical intervention fell outside the types of procedures for which parental consent could be given....

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