On 29 January 2020, the Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal (the Tribunal) considered a charge laid by a Professional Conduct Committee against Dr E, medical practitioner (the Doctor).
The particulars of the charge alleged the Doctor:
- Prescribed medicines to two patients [Patient A and Patient B] contrary to the requirements of the Contraception, Sterilization and Abortion Act 1977 (the CSA Act);
- Prescribed medicines contrary to the Medical Council’s Statement on Good Prescribing Practice; and/or contrary to accepted medical practice;
- Failed to ensure that he had adequate knowledge of the medications or requirements of the CSA Act;
- Failed to undertake appropriate clinical assessments;
- Failed to keep clear or accurate records, and,
- In respect of Patient B he knew or ought to have known, that the dosage of misoprostol exceeded the recommended dose and/or prescribed misoprostol in combination with Primolut, an inappropriate treatment for termination of pregnancy.
The Doctor accepted that his conduct amounted to professional misconduct and the hearing proceeded on the basis of an Agreed Summary of Facts.
The Tribunal found the facts alleged in the Particulars relating to both Patient A and Patient B were established. The Tribunal found the Doctor’s conduct amounted to as negligence and malpractice and was conduct which brought discredit to the Doctor’s profession. There was a significant breach of standards and his misconduct warranted disciplinary sanction
The Tribunal found that the Doctor’s notes failed to meet basic standards of medical record keeping. He did not document details of the patients presenting complaint, any examination findings, diagnosis or management plans. This failure amounted to negligence and brought discredit to the Doctor’s profession.
- censured the Doctor;
- fined the Doctor $7,500;
- imposed five conditions on the Doctor's practice which will apply for a period of three years which will apply if he recommences practice.
- ordered the Doctor pay costs of $22,500;
- made permanent orders of suppression and
- directed publication of the decision.