The Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal has ordered a physiotherapist to receive further training and pay $25,000 after he failed to keep clinical notes and made false declarations on his annual practicing certificate application.

The physiotherapist worked full time and saw a large number of patients. It was discovered that over a two year period he failed to keep any clinical notes for almost 2,800 patients.

It was also found that the physiotherapist was suffering mental health problems, and failed to declare them, as required, when applying for his annual practicing certificate.

The Tribunal held that the failure to record clinical notes for almost 2,800 patients was significant, and, in addition to the false declaration, amounted to professional misconduct and conduct that would bring the profession into disrepute.

The Tribunal explained that it is important for practitioners to be honest when completing their applications for practicing certificates. The information that is gathered is used to protect the public from practitioners that may be impaired, and incapable of providing services safely.

The Tribunal censured the physiotherapist, ordered him to pay a fine of $5,000 and costs of $20,000, and ordered him to complete further training in ethics.

It is important that practitioners maintain a high standard of honesty and quality of practice. Failure to do so may result in expensive proceedings and serious disciplinary consequences.

If there are concerns that a practitioner has failed to maintain an adequate standard of practice, or has acted dishonestly, it is wise to speak with a professional experienced in the area.

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