A KANGAROO COURT
Elsewhere on the website there have been references to the make-up of the Medical Practitioners Board's (MPB’s) Panel for the 2005 Hearing. Now, there is an examination of the make-up of the Panel for the 2006 Hearing.
The Chairman was Dr Simon Horne. He was a MPB Member at the time. The other two Members were Mr Michael Gorton (sleazy) and Dr Bernadette White. Mr Gorton was drawn from the Governor-in-Council’s list. Dr White had served on the MPB as a Member from 2001 until the end of June 2004. We may safely assume that she retired to the Governor-in-Council’s list, from which she was drawn for the Hearing.
This means that the Hearing of 2006 had only one currently serving MPB Member. He was not the dominant Panel member. Dr White is not recorded by the transcript as having uttered a single word ! If she followed Mr Gorton in her voting responses (most probably), the Chairman, Dr Horne would be outvoted (that is assuming he may have decided to try to dissent from Mr Gorton’s overwhelming pressure). The Panel’s voting was effectively controlled by the members drawn from the Governor-in-Council’s list. That also, is what occurred for the Hearing of 2005. In both instances, the MPB had lost voting control of its Panels and Hearings.
To present it even more starkly, if the two Panels are pooled, at the relevant times of making the findings and determinations, there was, for certain, only one serving MPB Member out of a total of seven Panel Members. One could hardly consider that Section 47 of the Medical Practice Act 1994 was being followed and honoured – where the intent was that drawing Panel members from the Governor-in-Council’s list should be a last resort; only when a full compliment from the MPB could not be obtained (or if special expertise were required) :
47. Constitution of a hearing panel for a formal hearing
(1) A panel appointed under section 46 must consist of not less than 3 persons –
(a) Who, subject to subsection (2), are to be members of the Board; and
(b) Of whom 1 is to be a lawyer and at least 1 is to be a registered medical practitioner
(2) If –
(a) The Board is unable to appoint a panel because there are not enough members available to sit on it; or
The Board is of the opinion that a person with special expertise is
required for the hearing –
The President or, in the absence of the President, the Deputy President may fill the vacant positions on the panel by appointing
persons who are not members of the Board from a list of persons approved by the Governor in Council under subsection (4)
Either MPB Members generally made themselves unavailable for these Panel selections, or else the person appointing the Panels really did not seriously attempt to fill the Panels with MPB Members.
You may note the reliance that has been placed upon having a lawyer on each Panel. Given the performance of most lawyers I have encountered, such a requirement would be likely to lead to strange results: they do not represent the public and they are not “medical.” There need to be only one or two suspect lawyers on the Governor-in-Council’s list for selected Hearings to be perverted and, without MPB control the outcome may be influenced.
Thus, the MPB had lost voting control for both Panels; the Panels were not guided by MPB Members with majority voting power, but by undefined forces (involving lawyers), and under the general supervision of the Deputy CEO, who selected the Panels and was in charge of Hearings – Mr John Hartley Smith.
The MPB, by allowing its Officers to run amok, has shown an egregious failure in its duty of care, allowing malfeasances and malversations for the benefit of outside interests, without corrections.
Malcolm Adams Traill
Copyright © MA Traill November 2008