*The contents in this blog relates to legislation in New South Wales.

On 23 August 2021, the Health Care Complaints Commission (HCCC) was successful in obtaining a decision from the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal against Dr Atef Sallam, general practitioner, which found that his conduct amounted to be professional misconduct. The complaints initially arose from inappropriate procedures performed by Dr Sallam on 15 patients.

In relation to one patient, the HCCC alleged that Dr Sallam administered a series of injections of a corticosteroid diluted in lignocaine into their cervical spinal region in his rooms, with the patient tragically passing as a result. In relation to another patient, Dr Sallam administered a similar injection into their lumbar spine, causing a full spinal anesthetic leading to severe and ongoing pain for that patient.

The Tribunal noted that Dr Sallam was not properly trained to perform injections and the failure to use radiological imaging meant that “his conduct was fraught with danger when injecting his patients in the cervical area, including the neck area.”

The Tribunal ordered that:

  • Had Dr Sallam been registered as a medical practitioner, the Tribunal would have cancelled his registration.
  • Dr Sallam is disqualified from being registered in the health profession, with a non-review period of 5 years.
  • The National Board is to record the fact that the Tribunal would have suspended or cancelled Dr Sallam’s registration in the National Register kept by the board.

To read the full decision against Dr Sallam, please click here: https://www.caselaw.nsw.gov.au/decision/17b56ed2f3666bb0f04cc82b

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