Weinstein v Health Complaints Commissioner [2022] VCAT 344: Tribunal finds Applicant did not inject client, Health Complaints Commissioner’s Interim Prohibition Order set aside

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By Stuart Eustice, Partner & Holly White, Lawyer

Former dermatologist and cosmetic surgeon, Weinstein, surrendered her medical practitioner registration in 2010 with an undertaking to never apply for registration again following multiple complaints. In 2016 Weinstein was found guilty of recklessly holding herself out as a registered medical practitioner and fined $10,000. In September 2021 Weinstein’s clinic, CDC Clinics (a clinic providing cosmetic services), was fined $45,000 for performing illegal liposuction surgeries under anaesthesia.

The Health Complaints Act 2016 (Vic) (HCA) came into force on 1 February 2017 and provides a complaints mechanism in relation to the provision of general health services. Weinstein is a ‘general health service provider’ for the purposes of the HCA.

In early 2017, KJ attended CDC Clinics and received Oxane injections, a permanent filler. A few months later, KJ made a complaint to the Health Complaints Commissioner (HCC) as she was unhappy with the outcome of her treatment, alleging Weinstein gave the injections.

Weinstein stated Dr Xu injected KJ. Dr Xu was a medical practitioner contracted by CDC Clinics to perform cosmetic treatments. Dr Xu agreed that she administered the injections to KJ.

Concurrently, Dr Xu’s conduct was referred to the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency who on 26 November 2018 found Dr Xu had obtained informed consent from KJ and performed the injections.

On 28 October 2019, the HCC made prohibitions orders, relevantly finding that Weinstein had injected KJ. Weinstein sought judicial review of the decision, which was ultimately dismissed.[1] Weinstein commenced proceedings in VCAT seeking review of the prohibition order.

The Tribunal was tasked with standing in the HCC’s shoes to review all the evidence before the HCC and to make a new decision. Ultimately, the Tribunal found the evidence demonstrated Weinstein had not injected KJ, and ordered the prohibition orders be set aside.

Weinstein v Health Complaints Commissioner [2022] VCAT 344

[1] CDC Clinics Pty Ltd & Anor v Health Complaints Commissioner [2020] VSC 597.

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