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Doctor gets longest ever ban from practising

Doctor gets longest ever ban from practising
Photo: Doctor banned
A South Australian general practitioner will never practise again following a 25-year ban by the South Australian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (the tribunal).

On 14 September, the tribunal found all allegations brought by the Board against Dr Brian Geoffrey Holder constituted professional misconduct.

Dr Holder is currently serving a 15-year sentence of imprisonment for the attempted murder of a pharmacist who made a notification about his irregular and improper prescribing practices.

The allegations before the tribunal included:

  • the attempted murder of the notifier
  • inappropriate prescribing of benzodiazepines and codeine containing medications to five patients
  • provision of misleading information to Ahpra andthe Board, and
  • inappropriate prescribing to himself and his wife.
Given Dr Holder is currently 71 years old, the length of the ban means he will never again practise medicine or work in health services.

The Tribunal stated that Dr Holder’s attempt to murder the notifier constituted professional misconduct of a most serious kind.

In relation to the prescribing offences, it noted : ‘We are most concerned that the respondent still has no insight as to the wrongfulness of his prescribing actions. He still maintains that his prescribing was appropriate.

He has expressed no remorse or contrition. Even these proceedings have not brought home to him the seriousness of his defaults. There is no reason to think that he would change his ways if ever allowed to practise in the future.

‘This respondent could never again be trusted with the responsibilities of a registered medical practitioner. The public, and other health practitioners should never again be put at serious risk from the respondent.

It is appropriate to set a disqualification which makes it clear to everyone that his career as a medical practitioner is over.’

The tribunal emphasised the seriousness of the conduct in this matter commenting that ‘there are some cases that are so serious that the sanctions must be career-ending.’

The outcome was supported by Ahpra and the Board.

Board Chair Dr Anne Tonkin, said : ‘Such behaviour is completely incompatible with being a registered medical practitioner. We are pleased the tribunal has imposed this significant ban.’

‘A lifetime ban from treating the public underlines the seriousness of the matters considered by the Tribunal and will keep the public safe’. Ahpra Chief Executive Martin Fletcher, said.

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