Update on the investigations into chemotherapy under dosing in South Australia

11 May 2017

A number of investigations have concluded about registered health practitioners in South Australia relating to chemotherapy under dosing.

The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) received notifications about registered health practitioners from SA Health relating to the chemotherapy under dosing at the Royal Adelaide Hospital and Flinders Medical Centre and has now completed a number of these investigations.

These matters have been extremely distressing for the patients and families involved. Patients should feel safe in the health care they receive. As a risk-based regulator, our job is to ensure that any ongoing risk with individual health practitioners is addressed so patients are safer in the future.

These have been comprehensive investigations and our priority has been to ensure that they are thorough and fair. AHPRA has sought independent advice to help analyse the information.

Nine matters about four medical practitioners and five pharmacists have now been completed.

Confidentiality provisions in the National Law limit what we can say about any actions taken against individual practitioners, however, we can provide a general overview of the types of outcomes that have resulted following decisions by the South Australian Board of the Medical Board of Australia and the Pharmacy Board of Australia.

  • Eight investigations were finalised with ‘no further action’ required. ‘No further action’ means that there is no current or ongoing risk to the public that a Board needs to manage. It is not a reflection of the validity or seriousness of the complaint or concern.
  • One matter has resulted in a caution. A caution is intended to act as a deterrent so that the practitioner does not repeat the conduct or behaviour. Cautions are not normally published on the public register of practitioners; however, they are advised to employers.

Three of the most complex matters are still under investigation and may result in regulatory action.

While our investigations are independent, we are working with our counterparts at SA Health to achieve system-wide improvements in clinical care.

We cannot comment further to protect the integrity of legal processes and any current or future action we may take.

For more information

  • Lodge an online enquiry form
  • For registration enquiries: 1300 419 495 (within Australia) +61 03 9275 9009 (overseas callers)
  • For media enquiries: (03) 8708 9200
 
 
Page reviewed 11/05/2017