The Medical Council considered applying for immediate suspension of the registration of 16 doctors in 2018, with proceedings against two of these doctors considered twice.
Section 60 of the Medical Practitioners Act 2007 allows the Council to make an ex parte application to the court for an order to suspend a doctor’s registration if this action is necessary to protect the public. The High Court must consider the Constitutional right to earn a livelihood when considering these applications. Seven ‘undertakings’ were provided to the Council, while it made nine applications under section 60 to the High Court last year.
Of these nine matters, the Council obtained six High Court orders while three matters were dealt with by way of an undertaking to the High Court, according to the Council.
In 2017, the Council made three referrals/applications for immediate suspension of a doctor’s registration under section 60. Two applications were granted and undertakings were accepted by the High Court in the other case. There were also four instances in 2017 where the Council considered applying to the High Court for immediate suspension of a doctor’s registration, but instead accepted an ‘undertaking’ offered by the doctors concerned. The Council has previously informed the Medical Independent that undertakings are case specific and it does not comment on individual cases.
In the three years from 2013 to 2015, the Council made 15 applications under section 60 and 14 were granted. The sole rejected application was later approved when a further application was made in relation to this doctor.
Meanwhile, at a meeting in March, the Council agreed to include a short paragraph in its annual report for 2018 to give further details on section 60 hearings.
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