Complaints to Queensland Health Ombudsman jump 24 per cent
“The affected person was susceptible to exploitation as a consequence of their psychological well being points and the ability imbalance between the practitioner and the affected person,” the Ombudsman’s report mentioned.
“Boundary violations are unethical and unprofessional as a result of they exploit the practitioner-patient relationship, undermine the belief that communities have of their well being practitioners, and might compromise a affected person’s ongoing care.”
The Ombudsman will produce a video to remind medical practitioners to not violate their sufferers’ boundaries.
A “boundary violation”, in response to the report, can vary from inappropriate feedback to circumstances of inappropriate sexual relationships between well being professionals and their sufferers.
Whereas not giving a selected variety of boundary violations, the Ombudsman decided there have been sufficient to require a video to clarify what was and was not acceptable behaviour by well being practitioners.
“The ensuing video and supporting sources can be launched in 2019-20 to most of the people and well being service suppliers,” the report mentioned.
“Comparable public consciousness and schooling campaigns will stay a spotlight for the division sooner or later.”
In 2018-19, the Ombudsman acquired 8575 complete complaints, a rise of 24 per cent on the 6936 complaints acquired within the earlier yr.
In essentially the most critical circumstances the Ombudsman can take rapid motion in opposition to a well being practitioner even earlier than any legal issues have began.
In a single case highlighted within the report a lady alleged she was sexually assaulted by a medical practitioner throughout a session.
The Ombudsman facilitated her police grievance and issued a show-cause discover to the practitioner, who was charged with sexual assault.
“The Well being Ombudsman issued a show-cause discover to the practitioner proposing rapid registration motion, by means of imposing circumstances prohibiting him from having any contact with feminine sufferers,” the report mentioned.
“This motion was primarily based on the Well being Ombudsman forming an affordable perception that given the allegations, the practitioner posed a critical threat and it was essential to take rapid motion to guard the general public well being or security.”
That order reportedly stays in impact.
In one other case, the Ombudsman efficiently defended a call to take away a male nurse for inappropriate sexual contact on three sufferers.
The person was discovered not responsible in three separate trials for every of the circumstances, and took his dismissal to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal.
“QCAT discovered all allegations in opposition to the previous nurse proved … [it] agreed with the Well being Ombudsman that the respondent engaged in an egregious abuse of belief and additional acknowledged the proof in respect of the three sufferers, when considered collectively, was highly effective,” the report mentioned.
“QCAT discovered the conduct was of essentially the most critical sort of misconduct, reprimanding the previous nurse and disqualifying him from making use of for registration for a interval of six years.”
Stuart Layt covers well being, science and expertise for the Brisbane Instances. He was previously the Queensland political reporter for AAP.