When an individual or organisation first alleges medical negligence against a practitioner, the complaints may be put forward to a tribunal. This can often be a quicker way to solve disputes. If the tribunal feels further action is required, such as protective measures against a practitioner, they may seek help to do so. This was evident in a recent case brought before the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal.
Background of the complaints
The Health Care Complaints Commission (HCCC) made 11 individual complaints against a medical professional practising in NSW. Not only did it seek an order to prohibit the publishing of patients mentioned, but the HCCC also sought orders that the practitioner’s registration should be imposed in some way if the tribunal found him guilty.
Complaints against the man varied greatly, but all alleged he was guilty of professional misconduct in some form.
For example, Complaint One stated that the medical practitioner’s knowledge and care exercised was significantly below the standard reasonably expected of a professional of an equivalent level of experience. In summary, it is alleged the man advised a patient to undergo a bilateral insertion of grommets as a treatment for Eustachian tube dysfunction (ETD). However, the results of an audiogram conducted by an audiologist on the same day were normal and showed no symptoms of ETD.
After assessment, the tribunal were satisfied that the complaint was proven.
Similarly, Complaint Four stated that the practitioner’s level of expertise was far below the standard it should have been. Here, it was alleged that the practitioner performed a left-sided mastoidectomy on another patient. This is a type of surgery involving removing diseased air cells inside the ear.
However, there was no evidence suggesting that the patient needed the surgery. Instead, whilst performing the procedure, the medical practitioner damaged the patient’s ear canal. Once again, this complaint was proven.
What did the tribunal decide?
After great assessment, the tribunal decided that all 11 complaints had been proven by evidence and the practitioner was therefore guilty of professional misconduct. It adjourned proceedings to allow for consideration in relation to protective measures on the man’s medical registration.
If you feel that a medical professional has been negligent in their treatment of you or a loved one, it’s important to seek help from legal experts. Here at Gerard Malouf & Partners, we can work through your claim to see whether you have an eligible case for court. For more information, contact us today.