Public Statement in relation to Mr Damien Wentzel
25 January 2012
Under section 41A(2) of the Health Care Complaints Act 1993, the Commission has made a prohibition order and has decided to issue the following public statement:
The Health Care Complaints Commission (the Commission) conducted an investigation into the conduct of Mr Damien Wentzel. Mr Wentzel was the owner and managing director of Australian National Prescription Service Pty Ltd (ANPS).
Between March 2009 and October 2011 Mr Wentzel of ANPS provided services for the treatment of premature ejaculation, erectile dysfunction and testosterone deficiency. Advertisements were placed in magazines and newspapers, and the ANPS website claimed that ANPS employed doctors, clinical consultants, pharmacists, nutritionists and dieticians. There is no evidence to indicate that ANPS employed any medical practitioners or other qualified health providers throughout 2011.
The Commission’s investigation found that Mr Wentzel, who has no recognised health care qualifications of any description, supplied schedule 4 prescription medications (Clomipramine and Tramadol) directly to a patient without authority in breach of the Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Act, 1966. This patient had no consultation with a medical practitioner and no clinical assessment was made as to the previous medical history of the patient, and the possible contra-indications and risk factors in relation to the use of the medication. The Clomipramine caused the patient to suffer an adverse reaction which lasted several days.
The investigation also found that Mr Wentzel repeatedly delivered forged prescriptions to pharmacists, resulting in a range of prescription medication being dispensed to a number of patients who had no prior consultation with a medical practitioner. Mr Wentzel also arranged blood tests for ANPS clients, using pathology referral forms which contained forged signatures. Instructions were given for the results of these blood tests to be returned to Mr Wentzel, despite the fact that he is not qualified to interpret the findings.
Mr Wentzel displayed a cavalier approach to his provision of health services. The focus of his practice was to generate income, and the evidence indicates that he had little concern for the wellbeing of his clients. In November 2011 Mr Wentzel dissolved ANPS and placed his company in the hands of liquidators.
Mr Wentzel has breached the Code of Conduct for Unregistered Health Practitioners in that he failed to provide health services in a safe or ethical manner, and his provision of health services placed at risk public health and safety. Further Mr Wentzel failed to obtain indemnity insurance for ANPS and its clients.
The Commission makes a prohibition order under section 41A(2)(a)(i) of the Health Care Complaints Act 1993 prohibiting Mr Wentzel from providing any health services or working for any company, organisation or other body providing health services.
The conditions in the prohibition order will be permanent but it is open to Mr Wentzel to apply for variation or reversal of the order at any time in the future.
Read the Commission’s Statement of Decision
Read the related media release
For further information, contact the Executive Officer of the Health Care Complaints Commission on 9219 7444 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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