Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency - Predatory chiropractor will never practise again
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Predatory chiropractor will never practise again

30 Aug 2017

The Chiropractic Board and AHPRA have succeeded in permanently cancelling a chiropractor’s registration after they brought disciplinary proceedings to the South Australian tribunal.

The Chiropractic Board of Australia (the Board) and the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) have succeeded in permanently cancelling a chiropractor’s registration after they brought disciplinary proceedings against the individual to the South Australian Health Practitioners Tribunal.

Individuals who demonstrate disregard for the National Law1 and potentially place patients in harms way or, as in this case, are exploitative of their patients are committing the most serious kind of professional misconduct. It is the role of the Board and AHPRA to protect the public from such practitioners and hold them to account.

The South Australian Health Practitioners Tribunal (the tribunal) made its initial findings in June 2017, when it found that Mr Robert Marin’s conduct was substantially below the standard expected of a registered chiropractor. The tribunal has now made a decision on its sanctions for Mr Marin.

After hearing the evidence from effected patients, multiple experts and submissions from the Board, the tribunal found that Mr Marin had engaged in professional misconduct. It also found that he had demonstrated very serious commercially predatory behaviour, provided highly questionable services (both chiropractic and weight loss), deliberately enabled an ongoing breach of privacy to occur with the use of CCTV, had been dishonest with the Board and the tribunal and had shown no insight at all.

The misconduct spanned a period of eight years and 28 patients and clients were identified as affected (including 14 adults and 14 children under the age of 12). Mr Marin had repeatedly breached an undertaking given to the Board and showed no regard for the conditions previously imposed on his registration by the Board.

Today the tribunal reprimanded Mr Marin in the strongest possible terms as well as:

  • imposing a fine of $20,000, payable to the Board within 28 days
  • cancelling his registration as a chiropractor
  • permanently disqualifying him from reapplying for registration
  • prohibiting him from providing any health services, including weight loss, dietary advice or massage services, whether remunerated or not, that use his skills and knowledge gained as a chiropractor, and
  • ordering payment of the Board’s costs.

AHPRA CEO Mr Martin Fletcher said this outcome was one that all registered health practitioners should take note of.

‘Protecting the public is of paramount importance to the Board and AHPRA and incidents of such reckless and exploitative behaviour are unacceptable and will be pursued,' Mr Fletcher said.

‘When someone visits a registered chiropractor, they assume the person who is treating them meets the standards required, to provide them with the care they need and will not take advantage of them in any way. When this is not the case, the patient-practitioner relationship is broken at no fault of the patient.'

Chiropractor Board of Australia Chair, Dr Wayne Minter AM, welcomed the tribunal's decision as a win for patients.

'This outcome is a victory for patients. The Board stands with patients to say “when you are a registered health practitioner and you exploit your patients the full force of the law will be used to protect patients and could end your career in your profession for good”,’ Dr Minter said.

Patients and members of the public with concerns about the care they receive from their registered health practitioner can call AHPRA on 1300 419 495.

The Board previously published a summary of the tribunal’s decision in June 2017. The full published sanctions from the tribunal will be available on its website.

1 Health Practitioner Regulation National Law, as in force in each state and territory (the National Law).

Page reviewed 30/08/2017