22 Nov 2019
A New South Wales man has been convicted and fined $15,000 in the Magistrates Court of Western Australia following charges laid by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (Ahpra).
Mr Scott McLennan falsely presented himself as a nurse while working at a Western Australian cosmetic clinic. He was convicted of two counts of holding himself out as a nurse in breach of section 116 of the National Law. He was found guilty following his failure to appear at the court yesterday (21 November 2019) to defend the charges.
The charges relate to Mr McLennan performing the duties of a registered nurse including injecting patients with cosmetic injectables between 21 August and 12 November 2018.
Mr McLennan has never held registration as a nurse with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA).
The Magistrate fined Mr McLennan a total of $15,000 and ordered him to pay Ahpra’s costs of $4,000.
Ahpra CEO Martin Fletcher said that investigating and prosecuting cases like this is an important part of public safety.
‘We will take swift action against people who are pretending to be a nurse or pretending that they are registered under the National Law. Patients put their trust in properly qualified and registered practitioners, and it is a gross violation of that trust when someone falsely claims to be registered.
‘While some people think they can get away with this type of deception, this outcome shows that is not the case. The law is very clear, and in this case a fraudster was found to be breaking it and has been prosecuted,’ he said.
Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia Chair, Associate Professor Lynette Cusack said, ‘In our role as regulators of the nursing profession, anyone who is claiming to be a nurse must be registered with the NMBA. We encourage the public to ask questions about the person from whom they seek care and check the register of practitioners to see if the person delivering the care is listed.'
Anyone with concerns about whether an individual is registered with a national health profession board can check the national online register of practitioners maintained by Ahpra, or contact Ahpra on 1300 419 495.
In February 2019, the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2019 (Qld) was passed by the Queensland Parliament.
The amendments included increased penalties and introduced an imprisonment term of up to three years for offences against the National Law. The penalties will apply to offences committed after 1 July 2019.
The introduction of an imprisonment term means that some offences will automatically become indictable offences in all states and territories (except Western Australia).