Monday, March 9, 2015

QUEENSLAND: Doctor took dog, circumcised barehanded

The Courier-Mail (Queensland)
February 8, 2015

Doctor took his dog to surgery with him and did not wear gloves while circumcising patients

by Kay Dibben

A GOLD Coast surgeon was barred from performing circumcisions after he undertook the procedures without wearing gloves and had his dog at his practice during consultations.

Dr Rodney Michael Tracey went to a tribunal to apply for a stay on the conditions placed on his medical registration in February last year, but was unsuccessful.

One of the conditions imposed by the Medical Board of Australia was that he complete an approved education course in infection control.

He was not allowed to perform circumcisions until approved by the board, the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal said in a recently-published decision.

The conditions were put in place because a board committee believed Dr Tracey’s practise of medicine was below the accepted standard of a medical practitioner.

The action was taken as a result of notifications to the Health Quality and Complaints Commission about Dr Tracey’s performance of circumcisions.

The board said there were factual matters that could not legitimately be disputed by Dr Tracey, including that he did not wear gloves while performing Plastibell circumcision procedures.

The board told the tribunal Dr Tracey’s dog was present at his practice during the course of consultations.

Dr Tracey claimed there was limited evidence to support the board’s decisions which were manifestly inappropriate and said the decisions were vague and imprecise.

The tribunal said there was no evidence of any adverse impact on Dr Tracey by imposition of the conditions.

Dr Tracey did not provide evidence as to the extent the circumcision ban affected his practice.

He pointed to the large number of Plastibell circumcision device fittings he had performed, from the original complaint in 2012 until the board decision in 2014, without complications or adverse outcomes.

The board said it had expert evidence that did not support Dr Tracey’s practises and which suggested his conduct was below acceptable standards.

The tribunal refused the application for a stay of the board’s decision.

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