Claim alleging delayed surgery for brain tumour

The District Court of Western Austalia in Jordan v Lee [2012] WADC 74 addressed a claim alleging failure to provide full advice of possible regimes of medical treatment including surgery. Daniel Jordan when aged 11 in 1996 was diagnosed as suffering from a brain tumor with metastases. He came under the care of a neurosurgeon …

A cure for cancer? Misleading & deceptive statements

DLA Piper in their recent newsletter 'Health Alert' report an interesting decision Noone v Operation Smile (Australia) Inc & Ors [2012] VSCA 91. The matter concerned an appeal by the Director of Consumer Affairs Victoria in relation to statements in relation to alternative / complementary cancer treatments on a  website. The court held that certain …

Queensland Government seeks injunction against Gold Coast doctor

The Courier Mail newspaper has foreshadowed a novel application by the Queensland Attorney General, seeking to prevent a Gold Coast doctor from practising in Queensland pending further investigations. The newspaper refers to allegations that the unidentified doctor hastened the death of three patients.  The proposed Injunctive relief is said to provide a faster mechanism than …

AIHW medical indemnity claims report

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare has released its latest report on public and private sector medical indemnity claims across Australia. The report analyses data for the year 2009-2010. Its highlights include: 2900 new claims Slightly more claims in the public than in the private sector 2650 closed claims, of whicd 58% were settled …

Expert evidence requirements for issue of medical negligence claims

Molnar v Kumar [2012] NSWDC 66 deals with an interlocutory application to dismiss a medical negligence claim, for failure to serve expert reports supporting the patient's claim. The court confirmed that the relevant rule, UCPR 31.36, requires the claimant to serve reports which support all three elements of the claim - breach of duty, causation …

FOI application debate regarding Dr Suresh Nair

McKinnon v Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health Network [2012] NSWADT 86 may be only one further step on the road of an application by the Seven Network, for access to documents concerning Dr Suresh Nair. Dr Nair, a neurosurgeon, gained considerable media attention leading up to his conviction in 2011 on charges including manslaughter and the …

1 in 100 doctors not appropriately credentialed?

Queensland’s independent health watchdog says a comprehensive review of doctor credentialing and related processes at Queensland Health shows room for improvement remains, despite significant progress since the Dr Patel case at Bundaberg Base Hospital. The report, entitled "Dr Right", was triggered by concerns about the circumstances surrounding Queensland Health’s employment of a doctor at Emerald Hospital …

Sexual relationship between psychiatrist and patient

The Medical Tribunal of New South Wales in Health Care Complaints Commission v Schultz [2012] NSWMT 7 was called upon to consider an appropriate response in the context of a sexual relationship between a psychiatrist and a patient, in the context of a prior boundary violation which had led to a reprimand. The initial referral …