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Australian doctor suspended amid investigation into woman’s death after abortion

A doctor working at a women’s health clinic in Melbourne has been suspended as a regulator revealed it was aware of concerns about other practitioners there. The facility’s boss claims it is a “witch hunt”.

It follows the death of 30-year-old mother Harjit Kaur, who died in January at the Hampton Park Women’s Clinic after what was described as a “minor procedure”.

It was later identified as a pregnancy termination.

The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (Ahpra) has confirmed Dr Rudolph Lopes’ registration had been suspended but did not reveal the reason behind the decision.

His registration details show he was reprimanded in 2021 for failing to respond to the regulator’s inquiries.

“[The regulator] has received a range of concerns about a number of practitioners associated with the Hampton Park Women’s Clinic,” Ahpra said in a statement.

“[The regulator] has established a specialist team to lead a co-ordinated examination of these issues which involve multiple practitioners across a number of professions and across a number of practice locations.”

Ahpra chief executive, Martin Fletcher, said he was “gravely concerned by the picture that is emerging.”

“We have taken strong action to protect the public while our investigations continue,” Fletcher said.

“National boards stand ready to take any further regulatory action needed to keep patients safe.

“While the coroner continues to examine the tragic death of a patient, our inquiries are focusing on a wider range of issues that our investigations bring to light.”

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Source: The Guardian, 15 March 2024


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