On 12 June 2019 the Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal considered a charge laid by the Professional Conduct Committee against Dr J, registered Medical Practitioner (the Doctor).
The charge alleged that the Doctor had been convicted of driving with excess breath alcohol and dangerous driving, and that the convictions reflected adversely on the Doctor’s fitness to practise as a medical practitioner.
The hearing proceeded on the basis that the Doctor admitted the convictions but did not admit that the offences reflected adversely on his fitness to practise.
This was not the first offence. In 2013, the Doctor was convicted of driving with excess blood alcohol.
In 2015, the Doctor completed diversion after pleading not guilty to common assault while under the influence of alcohol.
In 2017, the Doctor pleaded guilty to male assaults female. Again the Doctor was intoxicated during the incident.
The Tribunal was satisfied that the charges were made out and they did reflect adversely on the Doctor’s fitness to practise. The Tribunal accepted that the Doctor’s alcohol issues have never affected or impaired him at work and that there was no evidence that the Doctor’s patients had ever been directly at risk as a result of his issues with alcohol. The Tribunal also accepted the Doctor has a high degree of insight into his offending and the impact alcohol has had on his life, and noted the rehabilitation efforts the Doctor is undertaking.
The Tribunal suspended the Doctor’s registration for a period of 6 months for the protection of the public and to assist the Doctor in his rehabilitation. The Tribunal censured the Doctor and imposed conditions on resumption of the Doctor’s practice. The Tribunal ordered that the Doctor pay a contribution of $12,451.62 towards the costs of the Tribunal and PCC.