Dr Roland Von Marburg – Professional misconduct and impairment – Registration cancelled

17 June 2019

The Health Care Complaints Commission prosecuted three separate complaints against ear nose and throat surgeon, Mr Roland Von Marburg who practiced in the Albury Wodonga region, before the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (‘the Tribunal’). The complaints alleged serious clinical and unethical conduct involving more than 30 patients, spanning from 2008 to 2016, including:

• performing surgery and conducting procedures without clinical indication and/or without adequate and informed consent;
• providing inappropriate management, care and advice to patients;
• failing to provide adequate pre-operative and post-operative care;
• failing to keep adequate/any medical records;
• creating false medical records and letters and providing them to the Health Care Complaints Commission;
• providing false patient admission forms to Albury Wodonga Health in that he declared he had consulted with patients and/or provided information about proposed procedures whereas in fact he had not;
• breaching health conditions imposed on his medical registration;
• providing false and misleading information to the Medical Council regarding compliance with a health condition.

The complaint also alleged impairment due to opioid dependence and prescribing to patients in circumstances where some of the medication was for his personal use.

On 13 June 2019 the Tribunal published separate decisions in relation to the three complaints and a fourth decision on protective orders. The impairment complaint and two professional misconduct complaints were found to be proved. Mr Von Marburg’s was found to have engaged in 18 proven instances of clinical incompetence and this conduct was found to have caused a number of patients to suffer serious and ongoing consequences (including profound hearing loss, chronic dizziness and balance difficulties, chronic severe ear pain, chronic migraines, and extreme sensitivity to sound).  

The Tribunal also found that Mr Von Marburg was dishonest in his dealings with the Commission and the Medical Council of NSW.  The Tribunal found the dishonesty to be egregious conduct and noted that Mr Von Marburg has shown no remorse and negligible insight.  

The Tribunal ordered that if he was still registered, it would have cancelled his registration and disqualified Mr Von Marburg from being registered for a period of eight years.

The decisions may be found on NSW Caselaw at:

Complaint 1 Findings: https://www.caselaw.nsw.gov.au/decision/5cf7017fe4b08c5b85d89e9f
Complaint 2 Findings: https://www.caselaw.nsw.gov.au/decision/5cff36a8e4b02a5a800c17a8
Complaint 3 Findings: https://www.caselaw.nsw.gov.au/decision/5cff3824e4b02a5a800c17b6
Protective orders: https://www.caselaw.nsw.gov.au/decision/5cff38b1e4b02a5a800c17ba

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.