Thursday, 6 April 2017
A doctor who slapped a child during a consultation has had his registration as a medical practitioner suspended for two months after action was taken by the Health Ombudsman.
The Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) found that, in slapping the child, Dr David John Levick behaved in a way that constituted professional misconduct.
Health Ombudsman for Queensland Leon Atkinson-MacEwen welcomed the decision and said it sent a clear message to health practitioners and to the public that this type of conduct would not be accepted.
“Violence towards any patient is unacceptable behaviour for a health practitioner and the fact that the victim in this particular matter was a child makes it even more concerning,” Mr Atkinson-MacEwen said.
“The public rightly have an expectation that they can take their child to see the doctor and not have him or her assaulted.
“This decision should help Queenslanders feel confident that the health and safety of the public is being protected and that complaints about health practitioners will be taken seriously and dealt with in an appropriate manner.”
The incident occurred in Dr Levick’s consulting room in Bowen on 12 December 2013.
The Medical Board of Australia took immediate action to impose conditions on Dr Levick’s registration, including requiring him to use a chaperone when treating any patient under the age of 18 years. This condition currently remains on Dr Levick’s registration.
In addition to the immediate action taken by the board, the police charged Dr Levick with assault occasioning bodily harm and, on 14 October 2014, Dr Levick pleaded guilty to the charge in the Magistrates Court and was fined $2500 with no conviction recorded.
The Health Ombudsman subsequently opened an investigation and referred the matter to QCAT on 22 June 2016.
The suspension of Dr Levick’s registration will begin on 1 May 2017.
The Office of the Health Ombudsman is an independent statutory body and the one place all Queenslanders should go if they have a complaint about a health service provider or a health service provided to them, a family member or someone in their care.
To read the decision in full, go to the Supreme Court Library of Queensland.
Media contact: For more information contact the Office of the Health Ombudsman on email