A snapshot of registered health practitioner misconduct in Victoria: June 2023

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By Stuart Eustice, Partner, Holly White, Associate

Medical Board of Australia v XOT [2023] VCAT 620 (5 June 2023)

A doctor was reprimanded, disqualified from applying for registration for 16 years and prohibited from providing any health service unless re-registered after the Tribunal found he had engaged in professional misconduct. The doctor was first registered as a medical practitioner in December 1969. Between 1977 and 1986 he committed a series of sexual assaults and acts of incest against his daughter while she was aged between 8 and 18. In 2019, the doctor was charged and surrendered his registration. In 2020, he pleaded guilty and was sentenced to an effective sentence of 16 years and 6 months imprisonment. While the National Law requires a disqualification to be for a specific period, the Tribunal agreed with the Board’s submissions that this was a case where it was clear the doctor would never be a fit and proper person to be re-registered, and the sanction should be in effect ‘career-ending’. The doctor’s identity was withheld to protect the victim.

Medical Board of Australia v RRB [2023] VCAT 666 (16 June 2023)

A doctor was reprimanded and disqualified from applying for registration for 18 months after the Tribunal found he had engaged in professional misconduct. The doctor had prescribed schedules drugs (including drugs of dependence) to his wife, including in excessive amounts and where not clinical indicated, and further self-administered one of the drugs prescribed to his wife. In doing so, he also failed to maintain adequate clinical records and failed to maintain boundaries in avoidable circumstances. The doctor’s identify was withheld to protect his wife.

Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia v Logan [2023] VCAT 689 (21 June 2023)

An enrolled nurse was reprimanded, disqualified from applying for registration for five years and prohibited from providing any health services for five years after the Tribunal found he had engaged in professional misconduct. The nurse had been working in an older persons’ acute psychiatry unit where he used unnecessary and unsafe physical force towards a voluntary inpatient, including forcibly dragging her out of bed to the shower, undressing her and removing a soiled incontinence pad without consent. He was verbally aggressive towards the patient. Furthermore, he failed to collaborate with and work under the supervision of registered nurses, as required as an enrolled nurse. The nurse had been an enrolled nurse for 44 years and ceased work when his registration was suspended in September 2020 by the Board taking immediate action. He surrendered his registration in August 2021. At age 70, the nurse will not be returning to practice.

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    Case Note: Strata Plan No 74232 v Tezel [2023] NSWCA 35