Man prosecuted for claiming to be a registered practitioner

Date: May 26, 2015

A legal case has successfully been brought against a man who offered his services as both a chiropractor and osteopath, despite not being formally registered in either profession. He advertised his services using the Wagga Wagga White Pages, and the Magistrate's Court found the advertisement to be in breach of the law.

Charges were pursued by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA), alongside the Chiropractic Board of Australia and Osteopathy Board of Australia. The titles of chiropractor and osteopath are protected under national law and their wrongful use can carry significant fines.

Legislation states that it is an offence to use protected titles without being formally registered. For every breach of the law, a maximum penalty of $30,000 can be footed by the individual. In this instance, the defendant was fined a total of $8,000 – so $4,000 for each offence – alongside being instructed to pay costs footed by AHPRA to bring the successful charges.

The man had previously been registered with both the Chiropractic Board of Australia and Osteopathy Board of Australia, but these came to an end in January 2013.

Wagga Magistrate's Court also heard evidence that the defendant had performed a cervical spine manipulation. However, this medical negligence claim was dismissed due to a lack of evidence.

Other court proceedings are still being pursued against the man. Earlier this year, the NSW Health Care Complaints Commission and the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal put forward a case for unsatisfactory professional conduct and professional misconduct. This case has since been heard on a separate occasion.

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