Dr Peter Petros – Professional misconduct – Registration cancelled

7 June 2019

The Health Care Complaints Commission prosecuted a complaint against retired urogynaecologist Dr Peter Petros before the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (‘the Tribunal’).  Dr Petros was an assistant surgeon and supervisor to Dr Richard Reid, (who has been the subject of a separate disqualification decision by the Tribunal) and assistant to another surgeon at The Sydney Private Hospital (the Hospital).  The surgeries Dr Petros was involved in utilised a medical device (the Tissue Fixation System device) which was implanted in patients suffering from various utero-vaginal conditions such as prolapse. 

The Commission alleged that Dr Petros:

1. Failed to inform the hospital, surgeons and over 100 patients from 2013 – 2015 that he and his family held a financial interest in the medical device which would be used in surgery at which he would be assisting in, often as a supervisor of the lead surgeon.  He also failed to make these financial disclosures when the device was taken off the Therapeutic Goods Administration register of medical devices in 2014, but was continuing to be used in surgeries at the hospital.  Dr Petros also failed to ensure patients were aware that the device had been taken down from the register, and the reasons for it.

2. Misled the Commission from 2014 – 2017 about his and his family’s financial interest in the medical device, when and why his interest changed, and his role at the hospital supervising Dr Richard Reid (describing his role as ‘merely’ Dr Reid’s assistant).  The Commission alleged that Dr Petros failed to disclose substantial loans and aspects of his financial interest when asked and deliberately misled the Commission.

3. Failed in June 2013 to give an adequate handover to a receiving doctor at another hospital, for a patient who had major complications from surgery in which the medical device was used.  Dr Petros failed to tell the receiving doctor about the TFS device, give adequate descriptions of the multiple operations the patient had, give a correct sequence of events and adequate information about the patient’s bleeding. Dr Petros also mislead the hospital one month later when he provided a report to them on that patient’s surgical complications and transfer, minimising the seriousness of the event, the sequence of events, failed to mention the medical device, and underplayed the seriousness of the patient’s status at the transfer hospital, which she continued to be treated at some two weeks after Dr Petros’ report. 

The Tribunal’s decision published on 28 May 2019 found all allegations against Dr Petros proved, including that the allegations amounted to professional misconduct.  The Tribunal rejected Dr Petros’ explanations for his behaviour and found that his behaviour was “clearly misleading”. 

The Tribunal ordered that had Dr Petros been registered, it would have cancelled his registration for two years.  It imposed a non-review period of two years.

A copy of the Tribunal’s full decision can be found on the NSW Caselaw website.

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.