Medical Board of Australia - GP banned until 2028 for persistent professional misconduct
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GP banned until 2028 for persistent professional misconduct

28 Feb 2024

A doctor has been reprimanded, banned from providing health services and disqualified from applying for registration until 2028 for providing sub-standard, potentially unsafe care over more than a decade.

The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (the tribunal) found general practitioner Dr Geoffrey Kemp engaged in professional misconduct in relation to his care of 17 patients between July 2007 and November 2017.

Dr Kemp was alleged to have:

  • failed to provide good patient care to his patients, including by appropriately assessing them
  • provided treatment that was not clinically justified or evidence-based
  • failed to clinically manage his patients
  • exposed his patients to potential harm, including by prescribing certain medications and other substances which in combination exposed patients to potential harm
  • treated a family member contrary to applicable standards, and
  • failed to prescribe in accordance with specified guidelines and rules and in contravention of a condition on his registration to do so.

In one case, Dr Kemp prescribed major changes to a patient suffering from atrial fibrillation and congenital heart failure, including that the patient immediately stop taking the medication Warfarin. The immediate cessation of Warfarin places a person at risk of an embolic stroke.

In another case, Dr Kemp placed and maintained a patient on a treatment regime for Lyme disease without having formally diagnosed her as having that condition, in spite of previous blood tests that did not indicate any active Lyme disease infection.

Concerns about the diagnosis and management of 17 patients are summarised in the full decision of the tribunal.

The findings were delivered on 25 January 2024, following a hearing on 23 October 2023. The hearing considered five tribunal referrals made by the Medical Board of Australia (the Board) between 2016 and 2023, based on notifications from both patients and other health practitioners.

From 2015, Dr Kemp was subject to various immediate action conditions and other disciplinary action including cautions, related to the conduct considered at the hearing. On 23 July 2020, the Board accepted Dr Kemp’s undertaking not to practise. On 2 November 2022, Dr Kemp’s registration lapsed and he was not registered at the time of the hearing.

In an Agreed Statement to the tribunal, Dr Kemp admitted to all of the allegations and agreed that his conduct constituted professional misconduct and was in breach of professional standards.

In deciding to disqualify Dr Kemp for longer than the 12 months agreed to between the Board and Dr Kemp, the tribunal stated the proposed disqualification did not sufficiently address specific deterrence, general deterrence or protect the reputation and standing of the profession.

‘We were appalled at the ways in which Kemp treated the patients’ health conditions but also how little attention he gave to their presenting symptoms, which in some cases cause them great suffering.’

The tribunal decided that the appropriate period of disqualification was until 23 July 2028 so that, including the period since undertaking not to practise, Dr Kemp would be out of practice for eight years. ‘Had Kemp not made the admissions he did, we may well have considered a total period of around 10 years out of medical practice.’

Read the tribunal’s full decision on the AustLII website.

Page reviewed 28/02/2024