23 February 2018

Bad, Mad or Sad Health Practitioners (and others)

'Mind the Information Gap: Quantifying the Courts’ Role in Responding to Patient Harm, 1989 to 2013' by Wendy Bonython and Bruce Baer Arnold in (2018) 25(2) Journal of Law and Medicine 549-571 comments
 An empirical critique of Australia’s medical indemnity “crisis” challenges assumptions about the role of the courts through determination of civil liability for medical negligence, occupational discipline and criminal liability. Courts were identified as a cause of a “crisis” in the 2000s that triggered extensive legislative reform of medical negligence law, absent adequate empirical data substantiating either criticisms of the courts or supporting the reforms. Changes to the occupational discipline framework for health practitioners were less controversial but have resulted in increasingly legalistic responses. 
Using a detailed longitudinal analysis across all jurisdictions this article examines the role of the courts in responding to patient harm across the relevant 25-year period encompassing these reforms, to determine whether the courts did “cause” the medical indemnity crisis, what effect the reforms had and what other roles the courts play in responding to patient harm.
The piece is the first major study of its type.

Meanwhile Adam Carrozza has pleaded guilty in the Magistrates’ Court at Melbourne to five charges relating to unlawful use of a protected title and to holding out as a registered psychologist when he was in fact not registered with the Psychology Board of Australia.

Carrozza was fined $10,000 and ordered to pay the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) $14,325 in costs. No conviction was recorded.

 Carrozza had made representations and held himself out as a psychologist and/or clinical psychologist to a number of organisations and institutions. His profile on the websites of these organisations and on LinkedIn identified him as a clinical psychologist.

 Charges under sections 113 and 116 of the National Law1 were filed against Mr Carrozza by AHPRA on behalf of the Board in September 2017.