Medical Board of Australia - ‘Complex, deficient and dangerous’ conduct sees medical practitioner disqualified for 10 years
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‘Complex, deficient and dangerous’ conduct sees medical practitioner disqualified for 10 years

23 Mar 2023

A Victorian medical practitioner has been disqualified for 10 years, prohibited from providing any health service for 10 years, and reprimanded for extensive professional misconduct.

The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (the tribunal) found that over a period of 16 years, Dr Eric Salter repeatedly breached his obligations under the Code of conduct, describing his conduct as ‘complex, deficient, and dangerous’.

The Medical Board of Australia (the Board) referred Dr Salter to tribunal after investigating two referrals about Dr Salter’s conduct. In December 2017, the Board took immediate action under the National Law and accepted an undertaking not to practise from Dr Salter against a background of prior disciplinary action.

The tribunal found that, between February 2002 and November 2017, Dr Salter engaged in professional misconduct including:

  • inappropriately prescribing medication to 63 patients by, amongst other things, not adequately assessing and managing the patients, failing to provide safe and effective care, issuing prescriptions that were not clinically justified, failing to undertake appropriate medical assessments, and issuing prescriptions and providing medical certificates via text message requests
  • failing to maintain adequate medical records for the 63 patients, including failing to ensure the records were sufficient to facilitate the continuity of patient care
  • providing medical care to persons he was in a personal relationship with, including prescribing Schedule 4 and Schedule 8 poisons
  • engaging in an inappropriate personal relationship and sexualised conduct with one patient and a personal relationship with another patient
  • breaching a condition on his registration
  • falsifying medical certificates and documents
  • providing false or misleading information to the Board
  • failing to appropriately communicate with a patient, and
  • breaching confidentiality of three patients.

In making its decision, the tribunal stated that Dr Salter ‘presents a significant and unusually wide-ranging risk to those who might become his patients’ and that ‘he persisted in reckless and unlawful conduct over the long term, despite previous sanctions’.

The tribunal determined that Dr Salter is not a fit and proper person to hold registration. The tribunal imposed:

  • a reprimand
  • a disqualification period of 10 years, and
  • a prohibition from providing any health service for 10 years.

The tribunal also noted that ‘such a lengthy disqualification period, following on from the time Dr Salter has already been out of practice, makes it unlikely that Dr Salter will practise medicine again.’

The tribunal’s full decision is available on AustLII.

Page reviewed 23/03/2023