Performance and Professional Standards Panel
Date of Hearing: 13 September 2012
Date of Decision: 1 November 2012
National Law Breach – Breach of condition / undertaking
It was alleged that the practitioner behaved in a way that constituted unprofessional conduct under section 191(1)(b)(ii) of the National Law in that they failed to comply with the conditions placed on their registration. The conditions imposed on registration required that within nine months the practitioner cease all practice in the area of chronic pain management and stop prescribing schedule eight narcotics, except in particular ‘one off’ circumstances.
The practitioner admitted to breaching the conditions. Although more than 95% of patients had been referred to other doctors within 12 to 15 months, five patients were not referred until almost four years later. Based on these admissions and irrespective of the practitioner’s response that he was genuinely concerned about the welfare of the patients to be referred, the panel found that the practitioner had behaved in a way that constituted unprofessional conduct.
The panel decided to reprimand the practitioner. The panel also decided to impose conditions on their registration restricting their work hours and ability to treat patients requiring pain management and prescribe schedule eight narcotics, with these conditions to be reviewed in 12 months.