Queensland psychiatrist facing public tribunal; complaints going back more than 10 years

January 8, 2014

A public tribunal will be held to determine whether a Sunshine Coast doctor should continue to be a licensed medical practitioner.

The Medical Board of Australia has moved against Maroochydore psychiatrist Dr Philip Bird because it said it “reasonably believes that the practitioner has behaved in a way that constitutes professional misconduct”.

The decision comes 12 years after complaints first were raised about the behaviour of Dr Bird and another psychiatrist, Dr Zoran Radovic, who both attended patients in the Ward 3c mental health unit at Sunshine Coast Private Hospital.

The Medical Board of Australia acted on a complaint laid in May, 2011, by Michael Hornby, the father of twin girls killed in an horrific Woombye car accident in 2009.

The car driven by their grandmother, Denise Mansell, who was also killed, was hit by a vehicle travelling without lights and driven by a prescription drug-affected patient of Dr Bird.

In July last year the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency imposed 18 conditions on Dr Bird’s licence to practice. These were later amended to eight undertakings, including that he not self-prescribe medication.

The undertakings by Dr Bird included that he seek second opinions and maintain a record of those opinions for all patients he prescribes in excess of 40mg a day of dexamphetamine and 80mg of methylphenidate.

Mr Hornby said yesterday that he was now waiting for a date for the tribunal hearing.

“It has taken 31 months to get this far,” he said.

Mr Hornby said dealing with complaints regarding Dr Bird was only one matter that needed consideration.

He said it was also critical to explain how complaints stretching back to 2002, before his daughters were born, could go unnoticed for so long.

“We have seen two nurses sacked for speaking out,” Mr Hornby said.

“There are a lot of questions to be answered. My family and the families of patients at the hospital deserve the truth and I will keep fighting to get that.”

Source: "Tribunal to decide on doc’s future," Sunshine Coast Daily, January 7, 2014.


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