General Advice – March 2019


Complaints To AHPRA And The Medical Board Of Australia

I recently received notification from the Office of the Health Ombudsman in Queensland that I had been the subject of a compliant. The complainant had been seen by me on two separate occasions for the production of two separate medicolegal reports. The reports dealt with separate injuries. It was the second injury, and the second report that invoked the complainant’s ire.

GA 1 March 2019

There was no complaint of rudeness, delay, and the use of excessive force, deviant behaviour or any other form of unprofessional conduct. Professional misconduct also appeared to be absent.

Instead, the complainant focussed specifically upon opinions that I had expressed. The prose was lengthy, circuitous, laced with misunderstanding and bordering on the vexatious. I was invited to respond and of course you will understand, this is not an invitation to be ignored. I responded as directed.

It occurred to me though that this was bordering upon a misuse of proper process. AHPRA and the Medical Board of Australia are neither well equipped or in possession of a purview to comment with authority upon the opinions that I may have expressed. The resources that have been marshalled in responding to this complainant are addressing matters of a medicolegal nature and the subject of civil litigation. In essence, this has become a “fishing expedition”. It is discouraged by the Courts. In this particular case, the complainant has been able to access considerable resources, at no personal expense, in purportedly testing the opinions that I had proffered.

GA 3 March 19

I fully and unquestionably understand the right of any individual to make a complaint about the opinions that I express in a report. My point here however is that this is not the correct domain. Those complaints should be raised with his solicitor, transmitted through a proper legal process, be aimed at eliciting an explanatory response and dealing with it competently thereafter.

GA 4 March 19

The use of a public utility such as AHPRA or the Medical Board of Australia is not appropriate.