A first for South Australia as tribunal permanently cancels Chiropractor’s registration

31 Jul 2017

The Board has successfully brought disciplinary proceedings against a South Australian chiropractor, Dr Anthony Shanahan.

The role of the Chiropractic Board of Australia (the Board) and the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) is to keep the public safe. This means holding to account any practitioner that flouts the National Law.

The Board has successfully brought disciplinary proceedings against a South Australian chiropractor, Dr Anthony Shanahan, after the South Australian Health Practitioners Tribunal (the tribunal) found his behaviour was a ‘grave departure from the standards expected of chiropractor’.

The tribunal’s decision is the result of investigations by the Board and AHPRA into allegations that Dr Shanahan subjected three female patients to inappropriate physical contact. The evidence of each of the complainants was almost entirely unchallenged by Dr Shanahan.

The Board took immediate action to protect the public by placing restrictions on Dr Shanahan’s registration when a complaint was received in September 2013. Dr Shanahan was found to have breached the restrictions by continuing to practise as a chiropractor.

The tribunal cancelled Dr Shanahan’s registration and permanently disqualified him from applying for registration. This is the first time that a chiropractor has been permanently disqualified from practising in South Australia.

Dr Shanahan is also permanently prohibited from providing any health service that utilise his skills and knowledge gained as a chiropractor. He was also ordered to pay the Board’s costs.

Chiropractic Board of Australia Chair Dr Wayne Minter AM said ‘this is a good example of health practitioner regulation working to protect the public. As this is the first case of a tribunal deciding to permanently cancel an individual in South Australia from practicing as a chiropractor, it sends a strong message about the standards expected of registered health practitioners.

‘Patients have a right to expect safe health care. We will hold practitioners who do not meet our national standards, and breach the Code of conduct expected of them, to account.

‘I thank the patients who raise concerns with us and also the majority of registered health practitioners who are doing the right thing by their patients. Together with them, we as the regulator are able to help keep patients safe,’ said Dr Minter.

Patients and members of the public with concerns about the care they receive from their registered health practitioner can call AHPRA on 1300 419 495.

The tribunal’s decision is available on AustLii.

Page reviewed 31/07/2017