A snapshot of registered health practitioner misconduct in Victoria: August 2022

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By Stuart Eustice, Partner & Holly White, Lawyer

Medical Board of Australia v Datta (No 2) [2022] VCAT 845 (29 July 2022, corrected 10 August 2022) A doctor was reprimanded, disqualified from applying for registration as a registered health practitioner for 4 years and prohibited from providing any health service for 4 years after the Tribunal found he had engaged in professional misconduct after engaging in sexualised and/or inappropriate conduct with two patients. The doctor had failed to obtain informed consent when conducting examinations, used inappropriate and sexualised language and conducted examinations which were not clinically justified. At the time of hearing he did not hold current registration after failing to pass the AMC clinical examination, a condition which was on his registration at the time. He had not practised for some years.

Physiotherapy Board of Australia v Wilson [2022] VCAT 881 (5 August 2022) A physiotherapist working at the Bacchus Marsh Hospital in 2013 – 2014 during a cluster of stillbirth and newborn deaths subject of the Wallace Report, has been reprimanded and disqualified from applying to registration for 2 years. She had not worked as a physiotherapist since 2004. At the date of hearing, the physiotherapist was 78 years old, having retired from her executive management position in 2015. Nevertheless, the Tribunal found she had engaged in professional misconduct because of the loose definition of ‘practice’ in the Code of Practice which includes working in a management or administrative role which has an impact on safe and effective delivery of health services.

Psychology Board of Australia v Jones [2022] VCAT 959 (19 August 2022) A psychologist was reprimanded, disqualified from applying for registration for 1 year and prohibited from providing mental health, psychological or counselling services for a year after the Tribunal found he had engaged in professional misconduct. At the time of the hearing, he was 74 years old and had surrendered his registration during the investigation. The psychologist had breached professional boundaries by hugging and kissing a client, failing to make adequate clinical notes and was providing inadequate clinical management.

Dental Board of Australia v Hussain (No. 2) [2022] VCAT 980 (24 August 2022) A dentist was reprimanded and disqualified from applying for registration as a health practitioner for a total of 6 years after the Tribunal found he had engaged in professional misconduct. He had surrendered his registration in April 2017 after Ahpra received five notifications regarding his practice over two years. The dentist had provided sub-standard treatment, billed inappropriately and/or failed to obtain informed financial consent, failed to refer patients to specialists and failed to keep proper clinical records.

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