Charge Detail Summary

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File Number: Med17/378D
Practitioner: Dr H


Hearing Start Date:

Hearing End Date:

08/11/2017

10/11/2017


Hearing Town/City: Palmerston North

Hearing Location:

The Steeple Room, Copthorne Hotel, 110 Fitzherbert Street, Palmerston North, commencing at 9.00 am

Executive Officer: Ms Gay Fraser (04) 381 6816


Charge Characteristics:

Communication inadequate/inappropriate (Not Established)


Referral - inadequate

Failure to refer

(Established)


Additional Orders:

Name Suppression to Practitioner

Practitioner granted interim name suppression

883Med17378D.pdf


Name Suppression to Complainant and/or Patient and/or client

Patient granted interim name suppression

883Med17378D.pdf


Name Suppression to Practitioner

Practitioner granted permanent name suppression and any identifying features

946Med17378D.pdf


Name Suppression to Witness/s and/or Family of parties

Practitioner's husband granted permanent name suppression including any details of his health

946Med17378D.pdf


Name Suppression to Complainant and/or Patient and/or client

Patient granted permanent name suppression

946Med17378D.pdf


Other Suppression Orders

Practitioner's current and former employers granted permanent name suppression

946Med17378D.pdf


Appeal Order:


Decision:

Full Decision 946Med17378D.pdf


Appeal Decision:

Full Decision
Outcome

The practitioner appealed the Tribunal's decision to the High Court. The appeal was dismissed.  H v Director of Proceeedings [2018] NZHC 2175



Precis of Decision:

Charge

The Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal considered a charge of professional misconduct laid by the Director of Proceedings against Dr H, registered medical practitioner (the Doctor).

Particular 1 of the charge alleged that on four separate occasions when the patient who was over 50 years of age presented with dysphagia and/or continuing weight loss, the Doctor failed to refer the patient for an endoscopy and/or to a specialist.  Particular 2 of the charge alleged that the Doctor failed to communicate adequately with the patient to clarify his symptoms.

The Doctor accepted she failed to properly refer the patient to a specialist or for an endoscopy.  She believed she was blinkered by her initial diagnosis of gastritis.  However, she accepted that by the third consultation a referral for gastroscopy should have been done.  There was no admission that this was professional misconduct, simply, that it was negligence at that point not to have made the referral.

Finding

The Tribunal found that Particular 1 of the charge was established as professional misconduct, warranting disciplinary sanction.  It was satisfied that the failure to refer was negligent from the outset at the first consultation and remained so at each of the successive consultations.

The Tribunal found Particular 2 of the charge not established and that the Doctor had not failed to communicate with the patient as charged.

Penalty

The Tribunal censured the Doctor and ordered her to pay 30% costs of and incidental to the costs of the Tribunal and the Director of Proceedings amounting to $21,636.

The Tribunal ordered permanent suppression of the Doctor's name and directed publication of its decision and a summary.

The Doctor appealed the decision of the Tribunal to the High Court. The appeal was dismissed H v Director of Proceedings [2018] NZHC 2175