22 Dec 2020
A Victorian medical practitioner who continued to practise after failing to renew his registration was fined $20,000 following charges laid by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (Ahpra).
Dr Praveen Kumar was prosecuted for offences against the National Law after his registration as a medical practitioner lapsed in November 2018 and he failed to renew on time. Despite repeat correspondence sent by Ahpra and the Medical Board of Australia to remind him of his obligations, Dr Kumar continued to practise and led patients and colleagues to believe that he held current registration between 5 November 2018 and 5 February 2019. He performed a number of medical consultations, procedures and surgeries during this period.
Dr Kumar pleaded guilty at the Ringwood Magistrates Court to 53 charges of falsely representing he was a registered medical practitioner.
Magistrate Starvaggi imposed a fine of $20,000 and ordered Dr Kumar to pay $27,121 in legal costs to Ahpra. No conviction was recorded.
The magistrate accepted Ahpra’s submissions that a substantial fine was warranted, and said he would have imposed a larger fine if Dr Kumar had not pleaded guilty.
Ahpra CEO Martin Fletcher welcomed the outcome.
'Maintaining current registration is a core professional obligation for all registered health practitioners to ensure patient safety and professional standards. This prosecution should serve as an important reminder to other health practitioners about the importance of not practising their profession when not registered,’ Mr Fletcher said.