Dodgy Doctors To Be Named And Shamed Under National law Amendments

In effect from next week

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National law amendments coming into effect next week will allow the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) to name and shame practitioners who pose an immediate and serious risk to its patients.

The new power will allow the agency to warn the public about fake doctors, false advertising and major infection control issues – but only in exceptional circumstances.

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It’s expected the warning will only be used in a handful of cases each year and most likely for when practitioners are administrating services but are not registered to practice in Australia.

For registered practitioners, AHPRA already has the power to suspend or place conditions on their publicly visible registration if any risks to patients are found.

An extensive list of factors must be met before a public statement can be released and the person in question will have to be suspected of committing a criminal offence or be the subject of disciplinary investigation or proceeding.

The AHPRA must also believe the person presents a serious risk to the public in order to release the statement – and will not release a statement if another regulator is able to address the risk.

An example of when the agency could release a public statement is to warn the public of a Victorian man, Muhammet Velipasaoglu, who claimed to be a registered dentist.

Velipasaoglu performed nine root canal procedures on a patient in one sitting in his “at home dental practice”.

He used unclean tools during the procedure, smoked cigarettes and spoke on the phone – ultimately causing the patient to suffer a severe infection, emergency treatment and corrective surgery.

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Tricia Mifsud

10 May 2023

Article by:

Tricia Mifsud

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