Dr Michel Ward – Unsatisfactory professional conduct

HCCC, 25 September 2017
“The Commission prosecuted a complaint against Dr Michael Ward, a medical practitioner, before a Medical Council Professional Standards Committee. The Complaint related to treatment received by Patient A during his third presentation in several days to the Emergency Department of Mudgee Hospital in January 2015.”
Find media release here.

NHS prescribed record number of antidepressants last year

The Guardian, 30 June 2017
Author: Denis Campbell
“The NHS prescribed a record number of antidepressants last year, fuelling an upward trend that has seen the number of pills given to patients more than double over the last decade. The figures raised questions over whether the rise shows doctors are handing out the drugs out too freely or whether it means more people are getting help to tackle their anxiety, depression and panic attacks. Prescriptions for 64.7m items of antidepressants – an all-time high – were dispensed in England in 2016.”
Find article here.

Seymour v Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia [2017] VCAT 901

Decision date: 21 June 2017
“Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (Vic) 2009 ss 3, 178, 202 (1); positive urine and hair sample drug test results; formation of a reasonable belief that the manner in which a nurse practises is or may be unsatisfactory; whether necessary to impose conditions on practise. Group 1 urine and hair testing substituted for Group 2 testing.”
Find decision here.

Doctors lack training in medical ethics: DAK

Brighterkashmir, 20 June 2017
Source: Brighter Kashmir
“Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) today said that doctors in Kashmir lack training in medical ethics. Describing it as an essential component of patient care, President DAK Dr Nisar ul Hassan in a statement said that doctors are not taught medical ethics during their training. Medical ethics are moral principles in the practice of medicine to which a physician has an obligation. But this need is often not met.”
Find article here.

Physicians recognize new psychoactive substances as health threat

AMA, 12 June 2017
Author: Sara Berg
“New psychoactive substances (NPS) are quickly emerging, transient and difficult to track. While some coordinated public health responses have been used to combat NPS outbreaks, most strategies and solutions remain disconnected, lacking necessary information and data sharing capability. With the eruption of both illicit and synthetic drugs, as well as a lack of regulation, physicians are also searching for further education to aid in treating patients. Delegates at the 2017 AMA Annual Meeting voted to support multifaceted, multiagency approaches to combat NPS.”
Find article here.

Israeli doctors reject force-feeding prisoners on hunger strike

Al Monitor, 10 May 2017
Author: Daoud Kuttab
“Israeli doctors continue to reject attempts by prison authorities to participate in any force-feeding or forced treatment of Palestinian prisoners who are on a hunger strike. The Israeli executive director of Physicians for Human Rights Israel (PHRI), told Al-Monitor that Israeli doctors see any force used in medical treatment as unethical. the Israeli Medical Association (IMA) has, for a number of years, refused to participate in any force-feeding of prisoners. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and The World Medical Association (WMA) also opposes force-feeding.”
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.

From physician to felon: A doctor warns how easy it is to be bribed

Washington Post, 12 April 2017
Author: Lenny Bernstein
“In 2014, an internist pleaded guilty to one count of accepting a bribe. She accepted monthly payments of $5,000 to refer patients to Biodiagnostic Laboratory Services, for blood tests and other screenings. Such referrals are illegal in medicine because of the potential that doctors will put their financial interests ahead of the needs of their patients. To date, 29 doctors have been convicted in the multiyear investigation. The U.S. attorney’s office in New Jersey said the case involves more than $100 million paid to the testing lab by Medicare and private insurance companies.”
Find article here.

Blocked from public health system, drunk doctor finds job at private hospital

SMH, 7 April 2017
Author: Harriet Alexander
“An anaesthetist who abandoned his patient mid-operation and then passed out from intoxication has found new employment at Shellharbour Private Hospital. The doctor who had a history of drinking on the job, has not returned to work at Wollongong Hospital since the incident on its premises in May last year. But the NSW Medical Board allowed him to continue practising under certain conditions”
Find article here.