Colagrande v Health Ombudsman [2017] QCAT 107

Delivered on: 18 and 21 April 2017
“PROFESSIONS AND TRADES – HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS – MEDICAL PRACTITIONERS – DISCIPLINARY PROCEEDINGS – OTHER MATTERS – where the practitioner was convicted by a jury of sexual assault of a patient – where the practitioner was sentenced to nine months imprisonment, wholly suspended for 18 months – where the Health Ombudsman took immediate action in relation to the practitioner under s 58 of the Health Ombudsman Act 2013 (Qld) – where the immediate action imposed a condition that the practitioner must not have contact with female patients – whether the Tribunal believes the action is necessary to protect public health or safety.”
Find decision here.

Responsible advertising of health services: Practitioners reminded about their legal obligations on advertising

AHPRA, 21 April 2017
“The National Boards and the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) published a strategy for the National Scheme today to help keep health service consumers safe from misleading advertising. The Advertising compliance and enforcement strategy for the National Scheme explains how National Boards and AHPRA will manage advertising complaints and compliance, including the regulatory powers available to deal with breaches of the National Law.”
Find media release and strategy here.

California Has A Deadly Problem With Regulating Naturopathic Doctors

Forbes, 24 April 2017
Author: Britt Marie Hermes
“Since there is no “naturopathic standard of care,” a point that the committee acknowledged in 2009 and that critics of the regulation of naturopathy have noticed too, naturopathic expert reviewers must make ad hoc determinations that are likely to deviate from the medical consensus and fail to establish lasting precedent. For some influential naturopathic doctors, the standard of care includes anything taught in naturopathic school or done by two or more practitioners.”
Find article here.

Kaye v Psychology Board of Australia (Occupational Discipline) [2017] ACAT 27

Date of orders: 18 April 2017
“OCCUPATIONAL DISCIPLINE – psychologist – immediate action – matters to be satisfied – Health Practitioners Regulation National Law (ACT) section 156 – nature of appeal from board – Health Practitioners Regulation National Law (ACT) section 199(h).”
Find decision here.

Canada and eight US states have done it. Why can’t NSW legalise cannabis?

SMH, 24 April 2017
Author: Mehreen Faruqi
“Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has introduced legislation that will legalise and regulate cannabis use in Canada. This would make Canada the second country the world (after Uruguay) to legalise adult use of cannabis. This comes off the heels of some ground-breaking reforms that took place in November last year when California, Massachusetts, Maine and Nevada all voted to legalise and regulate cannabis use, joining Colorado, Alaska, Washington and Oregon. One in five Americans now live in a state where adult use of cannabis is legal or is in the process of being made legal. So why has the debate barely even begun in Australia?”
Find article here.

San Francisco Seeks To Ban Sale Of Menthol Cigarettes, Flavored Tobacco Products

KHN, 20 April 2017
Author: Elaine Korry
“San Francisco has unveiled a tough anti-tobacco proposal that would ban the retail sale of menthol cigarettes and other flavored tobacco or tobacco-related products that are often the first choice of minority group members and teenagers who smoke. The proposed ordinance is designed to address two major groups, youth and minorities, who have been targeted in successful, well-financed advertising campaigns that promote menthol cigarettes and flavored non-cigarette tobacco products. The products often attract African-Americans, Asian-Americans and Latinos, as well as teenagers.”
Find article here.

West Virginia Becomes 29th US State To OK Medical Marijuana

TechTimes, 20 April 2017
Author: Kalyan Kumar
“Marking a liberal approach by creating a bigger role in treating the terminally ill, West Virginia on Wednesday joined the club of states that legalized medical marijuana.
The new law will make medical marijuana available for certain medical conditions under strict state controls. It will also allow doctors to prescribe cannabis for patients suffering from seizures, cancer, chronic pain, stress disorder, AIDS and other problems.”
Find article here.

National guidelines oppose push to allow parents to choose sex of IVF babies

SMH, 20 April 2017
Author: Kate Aubusson
“Australia’s peak medical council has knocked back a push to allow parents to choose the gender of their baby in new national guidelines. On Thursday, the NHMRC banned clinics from offering gender selection for non-medical purposes in its long-anticipated guidelines for assisted reproductive technologies (ART). But the National Health and Medical Research Council left the door open for future changes, suggesting sex selection may be ethical.”
Find article here.

A doctor’s sexual advances towards a patient are never ok, even if ‘consensual’

The Conversation, 20 April 2017
Author: Ron Paterson
“In a recent independent review, I recommended chaperones no longer be used as an interim protective measure to keep patients safe while allegations of sexual misconduct by a doctor are investigated. The Medical Board of Australia and AHPRA have accepted my recommendations that the current system of using chaperones is outdated and paternalistic. Sadly, cases of sexual misconduct are likely to continue. It’s important patients know the warning signs and where to seek help if they suspect their doctor is behaving inappropriately.”
Find article here.