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Professional Conduct reports July 2021

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July Messenger 2021, Physicians | Posted July 8, 2021
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Dr. Joanne Suk-Wah Tse found guilty of unprofessional conduct

A CPSA hearing tribunal found Dr. Joanne Suk-Wah Tse, a General Practitioner from Calgary, guilty of unprofessional conduct earlier this year after failing to comply with a Terms of Resolution Agreement (TORA) signed in 2017.

Background

In 2017, Dr. Tse signed a TORA that allowed the closure of a CPSA complaint identifying her failure to cooperate with an Alberta Health audit of her submission of billings to the Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan.

In the original complaint, Dr. Tse had failed to provide certain patient records to Alberta Health. She agreed to re-engage with Alberta Health and provide the requested charts after signing the 2017 TORA, but neither provided the information nor responded to Alberta Health until August 2019.

The hearing tribunal determined the following sanctions for Dr. Tse: she must enter into and complete an Individual Practice Review with CPSA, at her own cost, and implement any recommendations into her practice. She is also responsible for paying two-thirds of the costs of the investigation and hearing (totalling $27,157.72), in addition to a $5,000 fine for breaching the TORA.

Commentary

CPSA must be able to rely on physicians to comply with agreements that are used to resolve discipline matters; direct disregard undermines CPSA’s ability to regulate the conduct of physicians in order to protect Albertans. While paying a fine, in addition to costs associated with the investigation and hearing, serves to deter this type of behavior, an Individual Practice Review allows CPSA to oversee Dr. Tse’s practice and identify and address any significant issues requiring rehabilitation in order to ensure patient safety.

 

Dr. Adil Ladak found guilty of unprofessional conduct

A hearing tribunal has found Dr. Adil Ladak, a Plastic Surgeon from Edmonton, guilty of unprofessional conduct for failing to report abnormal findings on a patient’s CT scan and failing to order a follow-up investigation.

Background

In 2017, Dr. Ladak ordered a CT scan in preparation for a “TRAM flap” procedure for his patient’s breast reconstruction surgery. The report resulting from the CT scan included a statement in both the body of the report and in the summary referencing a thickening of the proximal sigmoid colon wall and recommending that a sigmoidoscopy be conducted.

The evidence demonstrates that Dr. Ladak failed to notice the references in the report, that he did not inform his patient of the results, and that he did not have discussions with his patient regarding the options for investigation or treatment.

The tribunal ordered that Dr. Ladak receive a reprimand and be responsible for 50 per cent of the costs of the investigation and hearing (totaling $9,018.27).

Commentary

This case, while tragic, highlights the importance of continuity of care and follow-up on test results. Physicians have a responsibility to understand and meet CPSA’s Standards of Practice, and Dr. Ladak’s failure to inform his patient of the results, and his failure to discuss options for investigation or treatment, is a breach of CPSA’s Continuity of Care standard of practice.

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