DPP must review medical records tampering

The State Liberals are demanding that Minister for Health Jack Snelling refer the investigation report by Chief Medical Officer Paddy Phillips into tampering with a patient record at the Lyell McEwin to the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Section 17 of the State Records Act 1997 states:

17 – Damaging of official records;

(1) If a person, knowing that he or she does not have proper authority to do so, intentionally –

(a) damages or alters an official record;

the person commits an offence. Maximum penalty: $10,000 or imprisonment for 2 years.

"The Minister has admitted on the public record that four officials at the Lyell McEwin Hospital were involved in the intentional altering of a patient record," said Shadow Minister for Health Stephen Wade.

"For the integrity of South Australia’s health system the legality of the officials action needs to be independently assessed by the DPP.

"The Chief Medical Officer Paddy Phillips has publicly stated that legal issues arise:

(Bevan: … put this in some context, is this a serious issue?) Phillips: Yes. (Bevan: Why?) Phillips: Because it’s against the law. (ABC 891 3/09/15)

"I’ve been contacted by a nurse from the Lyell McEwin who pointed out that if she had been accused on tampering with a patient record she would have been suspended, pending a full investigation.

"That Weatherill Government needs to ensure that the rules apply equally to all public officers."