Difficult new laws put fake doctors behind bars after someone who didn't even study at medical school performed a series of bizarre treatments
- Australia's new laws to prosecute fake doctors entered into force on Monday
- The new laws will allow fake drugs to be locked up for the first time
- Since 2014, more than 50 cases of fake drugs have come to light
New laws have entered into force whereby authorities have put fake drugs behind bars for the first time and have imposed higher penalties.
The National Lawitioner Regulation The National Law Act has been amended after authorities have prosecuted more than 50 fake employees since 2014, but none have been imprisoned for practicing medication without proper qualifications.
They include Victoria-based Raffaele Di Paolo, posing as a gynecologist and obstetrician when he was in fact a homeopath.
He performed a series of bizarre treatments and tests on his patients, including the use of a needle to remove sperm from a man's testicles without anesthetic and to inject homeopathic substances into women's stomachs and buttocks.
The National Lawitioner Regulation The National Law Act was amended after authorities prosecuted more than 50 fake practitioners since 2014, but none of them were imprisoned for practicing medication without proper qualifications. They include Raffaele Di Paolo (photo), posing as a gynecologist and obstetrician when he was in fact a homeopath
Di Paolo was sentenced to nine years and six months in prison for dozens of accusations, including the acquisition of property through fraud, sexual penetration through fraud and common assault.
But he was not imprisoned for imitating a registered health professional, since the older law did not bear a prison sentence for such violations.
From Monday, the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Authority can impose stricter penalties, including a maximum prison sentence of three years for those who pose as a registered practitioner.
Fines are doubled per violation from $ 30,000 to $ 60,000 for a person and from $ 60,000 to $ 120,000 for a company.
From Monday, the Australian Health Advisory Authority can impose tougher penalties, including a maximum prison sentence of three years for those posing as a registered practitioner (photo Raffaele Di Paolo)
Chief executive Martin Fletcher said that some cases include people posing as dentists, pharmacists, physical therapists and psychologists.
& # 39; A fairly steady stream of these complaints is coming to us and it is more common than you may have thought & & # 39 ;, he told reporters.
& # 39; We have great faith in our health experts and we expect them to be registered and we expect them to use professional standards.
& # 39; It is a gross violation of trust if it appears that the person they are seeing occurs when they are not. & # 39;
The Australian Federation of Nursing and Obstetrics described the changes as important for the protection of both registered professionals and their patients.
& # 39; The public places great emphasis on nurses and the work they do. Anyone who falsely claims to be a nurse betrays this trust and has to face the consequences, & said the federal secretary Annie Butler.
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