In Ibrahim v Dental Board of Australia (Review and Regulation) [2022] VCAT 423, the consequences of non compliance with supervision conditions were explored.

Dr Ibrahim sought a review of the Dental Board’s refusal to remove conditions

The Tribunal observed:

“86          We have described Dr Ibrahim’s efforts at compliance to date. We agree with the Board’s contention that the proposed supervision arrangements and the courses mentioned were not pre-approved but, perhaps more importantly, did not demonstrate they would satisfy the 2019 Amended Conditions.
87          Dr Ibrahim asserted that no one, including the Board, had assisted him to find a way to meet the 2019 Amended Conditions. We understand that Dr Ibrahim considered the Board and AHPRA representatives had been unnecessarily demanding of him. It is apparent that Dr Ibrahim had difficulty understanding the requirements as expressed in the conditions and was also unable to absorb the information AHPRA provided to him. We accept the consequence for Dr Ibrahim was the fruitless expenditure of time and funds.
88          The first point to make is that compliance with conditions is a matter for the practitioner and it is not usually necessary for the Board or AHPRA to identify means of compliance.
89          Having said that, it was our view that a Board which has imposed conditions on a practitioner ought to respond to queries with as much information as possible, including explanations of terms and suggestions as to entities which may be able to assist the practitioner.
90          We were satisfied that in this case AHPRA, and so the Board, met that expectation. We considered they did so by responding to Dr Ibrahim and by engaging in discussions with Ms McCormack, all of which were directed to assisting Dr Ibrahim to meet the 2019 Amended Conditions.”

Lessons for health practitioners (particularly dental practitioners) could be summarised as follows:

1. The regulator imposes conditions for the protection of the public.
2. The regulator is not responsible for assistance with compliance
3. The conditions need complied with strictly.
4. continued non compliance can amount to suspension.
5. When conditions are proposed proper advice should be sought prior to acceptance or challenges to the conditions
6. As can be the case if one does not practice clinically for more than 5 years, re-entry to the clinical profession presents a substantial barrier.

                                                                                 Ibrahim v Dental Board of Australia (Review and Regulation) [2022] VCAT 423 – BarNet Jade