Are Australian chiropractors still sneaking into hospitals without permission?

In September 2013 I wrote about Australian chiropractors, including board members of the Chiropractors’ Association of Australia (CAA), bragging about sneaking into hospital wards – including, astonishingly, neonatal intensive care units – without the permission of the hospital or any treating physicians, nursing, or allied health staff. Mind-blowingly, one of those who was bragging about her many “sneaky” visits into maternity wards is now the president of the National CAA. You read that correctly – the president:

Alevaki 1 sneaks into maternity wards to check babies

The previous CAA president, Laurie Tassell, in November 2013, was thunderous in his contempt for such actions, once the actions became public:

The damage to the profession from the unprofessional use of social media…bragging about entering hospitals without permission and posting photos with well known speakers openly critical of vaccination are not acceptable.

Since that time the Code of Conduct for Chiropractors has been made very clear in regards to chiropractors entering and working in health facilities. There are six easy steps to be followed:

6.5 Provision of care in a healthcare facility

Good practice involves:

a. seeking permission to access and provide care

b. adhering to and following the policies and procedures of the facility

c. communicating effectively with other practitioners involved in the management of the patient

d. keeping the facility informed of any care

e. ensuring professional indemnity insurance (PII) coverage to cover care in that facility, and

f. keeping adequate records.

CBA 3 CoC 6.5 hospital requirements

Which brings us to today’s subject. Josh Farmer is a US-trained chiropractor at TLC Bundaberg Chiropractic. On July 5 2015 – two days ago – Farmer posted that he had been in a hospital to check the spine and nervous system of a baby. Farmer has since deleted this post, given the attention it received on Twitter:

TLC 12 July 5 2015 redacted

Given that the linen and towel, as well as the crib, appeared to be those of a public hospital I contacted Queensland Health on Twitter to investigate. To their credit Queensland Health were very swift in investigating and replying that the actions by Farmer were not facilitated by Queensland Health; nor were Farmer’s actions done “with” Bundaberg Hospital:

Qld Health 1 Today Queensland Health clarified further, stating that Farmer’s actions were not “arranged with Bundaberg Hospital”:

Qld Health 2

To clarify further I rang the Mater Hospital in Bundaberg – a private hospital – who confirmed for me that they do not offer birthing or maternity facilities; nor do any other private Bundaberg health facilities.

Given the responses by Queensland Health; the crib,  linen and towel in the image; and Farmer’s swift deletion of the image from the TLC Chiropractic Facebook page, I think we can gauge what has happened here. But – as those of you who are long past expecting surprises in these posts would expect – this is not the first time Farmer has posted these images.

From June 16 2015 (also deleted):

TLC 13 June 16 2015 redacted

From October 7 2014:

TLC 14 October 7 2014 redacted

And from July 31 2014:

TLC 15 July 31 2014 redacted

All of the above posts, taken from inside a hospital maternity unit, are signed off by “Dr Josh”. The above examples show at least four occasions in the space of twelve months – and these are only the ones for which there is photographic evidence – where this chiropractor has entered and conducted his business inside a healthcare facility. And not only that, he has used the images and names of infants in his online marketing, which is precisely what Facebook is deemed to be under the National Law. Add to all of the preceding that there is no reputable evidence for a chiropractor to touch any day-old infant.

So, again, how many of these Code of Conduct requirements has this chiropractor ticked off?

CBA 3 CoC 6.5 hospital requirements

I’m not expecting the Chiropractic Board of Australia to do anything about this. I’m long past expecting them to carry out any meaningful action, anywhere, about anything. But, if you want to lodge a notification you can click here to complain to the Queensland Office of the Health Ombudsman (they handle AHPRA complaints in Queensland).

Thanks for reading.

About reasonable hank

I'm reasonable, mostly.
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0 Responses to Are Australian chiropractors still sneaking into hospitals without permission?

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