Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency - Board confirms proposal to suspend
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Board confirms proposal to suspend

17 Jul 2014

The South Australian Board of the Medical Board of Australia has proposed to suspend the medical registration of Dr Philip Nitschke.

The Medical Board of Australia is focused on public safety and managing risk to patients. It has the power to limit a practitioner's registration in some way to keep the public safe, while other investigations or processes continue.

The Board takes ‘immediate action’ as an interim step when it believes there is a serious risk to public health and safety that needs to be managed.

Immediate action is a serious step. The threshold for the Board to take immediate action is high and is defined in section 156 of the National Law. To take immediate action, the Board must reasonably believe that:

  1. because of their conduct, performance or health, the practitioner poses a ‘serious risk to persons’ and that it is necessary to take immediate action to protect public health or safety, or 
  2. that the practitioner’s registration was improperly obtained, or 
  3. the practitioner or student’s registration was cancelled or suspended in another jurisdiction.

In line with fair process, Dr Nitschke has been offered the opportunity to make a submission to the Board about the proposed action. After considering any submission, the Board will decide whether suspending Dr Nitschke’s registration is needed to keep the public safe, pending other inquiries.

Any change to Dr Nitschke’s medical registration status will be published on the register of practitioners.

More information about the Board's power to limit someone's registration as an interim step is found in the Immediate Action fact sheet.

Anyone concerned about the professional conduct of a doctor should contact the Board through AHPRA on 1300 419 495.

For more information

  • Lodge an online enquiry form 
  • For registration enquiries: 1300 419 495 (within Australia) +61 3 8708 9001 (overseas callers) 
  • For media enquiries: (03) 8708 9200
Page reviewed 17/07/2014