Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency - Panel hearing summary 2012.0148
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Panel hearing summary 2012.0148

Decision of the Medical Board of Australia

Performance and Professional Standards panel

Jurisdiction: South Australia
Date of Hearing: 28 November 2011
Date of Decision: 16 February 2012

Classification of Notification:

Failure to provide adequate or accurate information

Lack of consent

Failure to communicate openly, honestly, and effectively

Failure to ensure physical privacy


  1. Whether the practitioner failed to comply with Good Medical Practice: A Code of Conduct For Doctors in Australia (Code of Conduct) under section 39 of the National Law in particular whether they:
    1. failed to comply with clause 3.3.3 of the Code of Conduct by failing to inform the patient of the nature of and the need for an examination and giving the patient adequate opportunity to refuse the examination. 
    2. failed to comply with clause 3.5 of the Code of Conduct by failing to obtain informed consent before undertaking an intimate examination of the patient.
  2. Whether the practitioner failed to comply with the standard expected of a medical practitioner when performing intimate examinations as set out in the “Medical Board of South Australia Professional Standard: Intimate Examinations” which applied at the time of the incident. In particular, whether the practitioner failed to comply with this standard by:
    1. failing to explain to the patient why an examination was necessary or giving the patient an opportunity to ask questions 
    2. failing to explain to the patient what the examination would involve 
    3. failing to obtain the patient’s permission to conduct an intimate examination 
    4. failing to offer a chaperone to be present during an intimate examination 
    5. removing the patient’s clothing without clarifying with them that the practitioner’s assistance was required.


Unprofessional conduct


The panel reprimanded the practitioner and imposed conditions on their practice that they enrol in a course to improve communication skills and in the use of a chaperone for consultations with females.

Page reviewed 17/04/2014