Tribunal reprimands and fines practitioner for falsifying registration documents

20 Apr 2015

The State Administrative Tribunal of Western Australia has found Dr Jai Palaniappan engaged in professional misconduct. He was reprimanded and fined $4,000 for falsifying registration documents.

The Medical Board of Australia referred the matter to the tribunal in February 2014, alleging that Dr Palaniappan had altered his registration certificate in two successive years when he was applying to the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) surgical trainee program.

Dr Palaniappan is an international medical graduate and held limited registration for area of need. With this type of registration, he was required to work under supervision in a specific designated area of need, and was required to comply with the Board’s standard on this type of registration.

In its submission to the tribunal, the Board alleged that in 2012 and 2013, Dr Palaniappan removed the words ‘limited, area of need registration’ from his certificate of registration, and inserted the words ‘general registration’. The Board alleged that Dr Palaniappan then submitted the certificate of registration to RACS as evidence of his purported registration. Dr Palaniappan was unsuccessful in his applications for the program.

Dr Palaniappan admitted that he had engaged in professional misconduct. The tribunal stated that Dr Palaniappan’s conduct warranted a period of suspension and/or conditions being placed on his registration. However, given that Dr Palaniappan was not registered with the Board at the time of the proceedings, the tribunal was not able to impose these sanctions.

Instead, the Board and Dr Palaniappan jointly proposed that the tribunal reprimand and fine him, and make a finding of professional misconduct. The tribunal accepted this and ordered Dr Palaniappan to pay the Board’s costs.

The reasons for the decision are on the tribunal website.

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Page reviewed 20/04/2015