Regional GP found guilty of professional misconduct


Regional GP found guilty of professional misconduct | 22 Mar 2013

A NSW GP anaesthetist who admitted to a range of failures relating to infection control measures at a regional clinic has been found guilty of both unsatisfactory conduct and professional misconduct.

The Medical Tribunal of NSW heard that during May 2010, a number of patients who attended the clinic in Warrawong – near Wollongong – for gastroscopy procedures developed symptoms associated with sepsis and required admission to hospital following their discharge from the clinic.

The NSW Health Care Complaints Commission (HCCC) alleged Dr Peter Sau Onn Chang committed breaches of infection control standards including failure to perform appropriate hand hygiene and the routine sharing of ampoules of two Schedule B drugs – pethidine and fentanyl – between patients.

The HCCC complaint – upheld by the tribunal – also detailed the GP’s failure to ensure equipment was used exclusively, failure to ensure he had access to resuscitation equipment, his unsecure storage of drugs of addiction and the keeping of inadequate patient records.

As well as reprimanding Dr Chang, the tribunal placed conditions on his registration including that he not administer any anaesthetics including intravenous or intramuscular sedation for non-analgesic purposes.

22/03/13 | Medical Observer

Anaesthetist jailed for infecting patients with hepatitis C


Anaesthetist jailed for infecting patients with hepatitis C | 7 Mar 2013

By court reporter Sarah Farnsworth

7 March 2013 Updated 24 minutes ago

A former drug-addicted anaesthetist who infected 55 patients with hepatitis C has been sentenced to 14 years in prison.

James Peters, 63, pleaded guilty to negligently causing injury to 55 women who attended a Croydon abortion clinic between June 2008 and November 2009.

The judge said Peters was professionally disgraced, deregistered and socially isolated because of his hopeless addiction to narcotics, which could be traced back 18 years.

The court heard Peters would inject himself with the drug Fentanyl before using the same syringe to administer the drug on his patients.

The judge said criticism of the Medical Practioners Board for allowing Peters to practice and not testing him for his drug of choice was justified.

Outside court, lawyer Julie Clayton spoke on behalf of victims who are now taking civil action against Peters, the Medical Practioners Board and the clinic.

“Today has bought some welcome degree of closure knowing Peters is in jail and won’t be released for a long time,” she said.

“For others, the sentence doesn’t bring comfort as they are left with some unanswered questions – how could this be allowed to happen in Victoria in the 21st century?”

Peters will serve a minimum of 10 years before being eligible for parole.

 07/03/13 | ABC News