Former psychologist found guilty of professional misconduct

The State Administrative Tribunal of Western Australia has found that a former psychologist’s sexual relationship with her former patient amounted to professional misconduct.

While the former psychologist was no longer treating the patient when the sexual relationship began, the parties agreed that only a few days had passed since her last consultation with the patient. This was in breach of the Australian Psychological Society Code of Ethics, endorsed by the Board, which provides that practitioners must not engage in a sexual relationship with a former patient within two years of terminating the professional relationship. The Tribunal found that the relationship was inappropriate given the knowledge the psychologist had of the patient’s fragile state and was potentially detrimental to the mental health of the patient.

The psychologist admitted to sending text messages to the patient intended to dissuade complaints being made against her.

The Tribunal reprimanded the psychologist, disqualified her from applying for registration for 18 months and ordered that she pay the Board’s costs.

To view the Tribunal’s decision, click here.

Man fined after claiming to be a chiropractor

A man claiming to be a chiropractor has been fined $10,000 for using the word “chiropractor” and performing a chiropractic procedure and ordered to pay more than $5,000 in costs by the Magistrates Court of WA.

The Chiropractic Board of Australia referred the matter to the Court after the man advertised his services in a manner that implied he was a registered chiropractor. He also allegedly performed a manipulation of the cervical spine, a procedure restricted to registered health practitioners under the National Law. The man disputed that the procedure he performed was restricted under the National Law; however, after discussions with an independent expert, he later conceded that the procedure was a contravention.

The Chief Magistrate emphasised the seriousness of these offences and the importance of protecting the public in deciding the man’s sentence.

To view the media release, click here.


State Disability Plan for 2017-2020

On 17 March 2015, the Minister for Housing, Disability and Ageing, Martin Foley, announced that the Government will soon commence consulting on the new State Disability Plan for 2017-2020.

The plan will be developed in partnership with the sector and in consultation with people living with a disability and their carers, with a focus on increasing economic and social participation within the community. It will also incorporate the findings of the inquiries by the Parliament and Ombudsman into abuse in disability care and the recent Parliamentary Inquiry into Social Inclusion of Victorians with a Disability.

The plan will attempt to address future challenges that may arise during the transition to the National Disability Insurance Scheme.


Tobacco Amendment Act 2014 (Vic)

On 13 April 2015, the Tobacco Amendment Act 2014 (“Amendment Act”) commenced.

While the Tobacco Act 1987 (Vic) banned indoor smoking within Victoria, the Amendment Act extends the bans to outdoorareas including in and around entrances to all Victorian childcare centres, kindergartens, preschools, primary schools and high schools. It also prohibits smoking at or within 4 meters of the entrance to children’s indoor play centres and other public premises such as hospitals, registered community health centres and specified government buildings.

The aim of the Amendment Act is to further promote an overall reduction in smoking across Victoria and limit children’s exposure to smoking behaviour, which has been linked to an increase in a child’s chances of smoking later in life.

The Amendment Act quadruples the penalty for retailers and wholesalers who possess illicit tobacco. This will discourage illegal tobacco trade and enhance the powers of inspectors to enforce the outdoor smoking bans.

To view the Amendment Act, click here.


Russell Kennedy has expanded its health capability in the area of Procurement.

We wish to ensure clients are aware of our hands-on assistance and common sense advice in this area. Learn more here.

This includes all aspects of procurement from policy to contracts, from process to completion, and from risk management to communications.

Our website will house a range of downloadable resources and articles on topics relevant to procurement. You can also click through to profiles for each of our procurement specialists, and contact them directly to discuss your needs.

Our first article offers some practical tips on making probity work for you, if you would like to receive future procurement articles of interest please sign up to the mailing list in the footer of this page.

If you have any questions about how Russell Kennedy can assist you with your procurement and contracting activities, please contact Michael Gorton to discuss.


Priorities for professionalism: what do surgeons think?

Professionalism underpins the commitment made between a profession and society. This social contract balances the benefit to a profession of a monopoly over the use of its knowledge base, its right to considerable autonomy of practice, and the privilege of self-regulation with responsibilities and accountabilities to the community.

Read the full article here.