Dr Atef Sallam - Guilty of professional misconduct – registration cancelled

27th November 2018

The Health Care Complaints Commission prosecuted Dr Atef Sallam, a medical practitioner practising in Taree NSW, before the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (‘Tribunal’). The complaint concerned Dr Sallam’s inappropriate prescribing of Schedule 8 drugs of addiction and Schedule 4D benzodiazepines as well as his failure to maintain adequate medical records in relation to 19 patients.  The conduct was characterised by the following features;
• A failure to carry out proper medical assessments prior to prescribing;
• A failure to make timely and appropriate specialist referrals;
• Prescribing for an improper purpose and in inappropriate quantities;
• Prescribing without an authority as required by statute; and
• Failing to recognise and respond to drug-seeking behaviour.

In its decision on 26 September 2018, the Tribunal found the complaints proven. The Tribunal found that although the practitioner had a credible explanation for his lack of understanding of the Regulations, his conduct nevertheless constituted a gross failure to inform himself of the requirements of prescribing.  The Tribunal found that this ignorance reflected very adversely upon his competence to practise medicine.

The Tribunal found Dr Sallam guilty of professional misconduct and ordered that his registration be cancelled and that he be prohibited from applying for a review of the cancellation for a period of 1 year.

The full decision is available at NSW Caselaw.

Further Information

For further information, contact the Executive Officer of the Health Care Complaints Commission, on 9219 7444 or send an email to media@hccc.nsw.gov.au.

The information in this media release is correct at the time of publication. Orders may change; for example, conditions may no longer apply. For current information regarding the status of a registered health practitioner, including any conditions that currently apply, please check the National Register at www.ahpra.gov.au.