Tag: Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency

WHY DAA MAY REGRET ‘SLEEPING WITH THE ENEMY’

By Marika Sboros

It’s no real surprise that Big Food loves the Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA). DAA has quietly carved out close to a monopoly for its members on giving dietary advice to the public.

It regularly dishes up messages that feed Big Food’s interests and product sales. Critics say that it makes sense, then, that processed food and drink industries happily pay oodles of boodle to keep that monopoly going and messages flowing. They say that DAA’s self-regulated status makes it even more attractive to those interests. It means that DAA can pretty much do as it pleases and it does.

Yet there’s a downside to DAA’s cosy relationship with food industries. British obesity researcher Dr Zoë Harcombe has called it “sleeping with the enemy”. In a critique of conflicts of interest in her groundbreaking book, The Obesity Epidemic, What Caused it? How Can We Stop It?, she looks at the consequences. Harcombe was referring to the US dietetics fraternity. She could have been talking about DAA. In Part 3 of this series, Foodmed.net looks at why critics say that DAA may bitterly regret getting into bed with Big Food.



IS DOWN UNDER’S DAA REALLY IN BED WITH BIG FOOD?

By Marika Sboros

Is the Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA) in bed with Big Food? It’s nearly two years since US public health lawyer Michele Simon first raised the question. She worded it slightly differently at the time. Her answer was an unequivocal “yes” in And Now A Word From Our Sponsors in February 2015. But has anything changed in the interim?

DAA says that it is not in bed with Big Food now and never has been. It claims that its sponsors – “partners”, it prefers to call them – have no influence on the advice it dishes out.  It also claims to take “great care to guard against conflict of interest”.

Its critics say otherwise. They say that DAA is heavily conflicted and has been for decades. Critics also say that DAA is little more than a front for the food industry. Read on and make up your own mind.



FETTKE: VICTIM OF KANGAROO COURT DOWN UNDER? Part 2

Dr Gary Fettke and Belinda Fettke

Dr Gary Fettke and Belinda Fettke

This is the final of a two-part series on the strange case of Australian orthopaedic surgeon Dr Gary Fettke. The country’s medical regulatory body has banned him for life from talking to patients about their sugar intake. Fettke says that he just wants to save patients’ limbs and lives. Senators have come to his aid in an Australian Senate Inquiry and wife Belinda speaks up when Fettke feels he can’t speak out. Here, they look at anomalies in AHPRA’s case against Fettke.

By Marika Sboros

On November 16, 2016, the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) issued an ambiguous statement relating to Dr Gary Fettke. AHPRA said that by law it could not disclose details of Fettke’s case unless he gave permission. However, AHPRA then proceeded to do just that: disclose details. Not surprisingly, senators conducting an inquiry into AHPRA’s medical complaints process were none too happy with that. 



FETTKE: VICTIM OF KANGAROO COURT DOWN UNDER? Part 1

Why does Australia’s medical regulatory body so badly want Dr Gary Fettke to stop talking to his patients about nutrition? In the first of a two-part series, here’s why legal experts say the campaign against him is Kafkaesque and a kangaroo court. Anything sound familiar?

 

Gary FettkeBy Marika Sboros

Is Australian orthopaedic surgeon Dr Gary Fettke the victim of a real-life kangaroo court? The Australian Health Practitioner Regulatory Agency (AHPRA) has banned Fettke from mentioning the “s” word (sugar) to his patients now or in future. Legal experts say that AHPRA’s ban has all the hallmarks of a kangaroo court.

Senators conducting an inquiry into AHPRA’s secretive medical complaints process think so too. The senators haven’t said so in so many words. However, they made it clear in targeted questions and comments to AHPRA CEO Martin Fletcher at the inquiry.

Claire Deeks, enrolled barrister and solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand, also thinks so. She says that Fettke is probably the victim of “gross injustice”. What do you think?



WHY CAN’T DR GARY FETTKE TALK TO PATIENTS ABOUT SUGAR?

Fettke

Dr Gary Fettke

By Marika Sboros

Australian orthopaedic surgeon Dr Gary Fettke can no longer advise his diabetic patients on nutrition to prevent limb amputation. In particular, he cannot tell patients not to eat sugar.

Why not? Because the country’s medical regulatory body, Australian Health Practitioners Regulatory Authority (AHPRA), says so. AHPRA has gone further. Even if the dietary advice Fettke has given his patients so far ever becomes mainstream, it says he must still keep silent.

Doctors globally have reacted with surprise, shock and outrage in equal measure at AHPRA’s ruling. US professor of cellular biology Richard Feinman calls the action “unbelievable”. Feinman says AHPRA is “more concerned with saving face than saving lives”. Here’s why: 



Gary Fettke turns into ‘Australia’s Tim Noakes’!

Dr Gary Fettke

Dr Gary Fettke

By Marika Sboros

The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) has banned orthopaedic surgeon Dr Gary Fettke from giving nutrition advice. It has done so after a two-year “investigation” into Fettke’s qualifications.

Overnight they’ve turned him into “Australia’s Tim Noakes”.  Elements of this case mirror the  Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) case against Prof Tim Noakes. Noakes is a world-renowned scientist and medical doctor. Both  cases open up a medical Pandora’s box. Both go to the heart of what it means to be a real “doctor of medicine”. Thus,  these cases are also about who is best qualified to give nutrition advice.