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NATIONAL HEALTH ACT 1953 - SECT 133

Effect of prosecution for offence

             (1)  Where a medical practitioner, other PBS prescriber or an approved pharmacist (a defendant ) is charged before a court with having committed an offence against this Act or the regulations or against another law of the Commonwealth, of a State, of an internal Territory, of Norfolk Island, of the Territory of Cocos (Keeling) Islands or of the Territory of Christmas Island, being an offence that arises out of or is connected with the supply of pharmaceutical benefits under Part VII, the Secretary may, if the Secretary thinks fit, by notice in writing:

                     (a)  in the case of a defendant who is a medical practitioner--suspend:

                              (i)  the authority to write a prescription for the supply of pharmaceutical benefits conferred upon that medical practitioner by section 88;

                             (ii)  any approval of that medical practitioner under section 92; or

                            (iii)  the authority to supply prescribed pharmaceutical benefits conferred upon that medical practitioner by section 93;

                     (b)  in the case of a defendant who is a participating dental practitioner--suspend the approval of that dental practitioner as a participating dental practitioner under section 84A; or

                   (ba)  in the case of a defendant who is an authorised optometrist--suspend the approval of that person under section 84AAB; or

                   (bb)  in the case of a defendant who is an authorised midwife--suspend:

                              (i)  the approval of that person under section 84AAF; or

                             (ii)  the authority to supply prescribed pharmaceutical benefits conferred upon that person by section 93AA; or

                   (bc)  in the case of a defendant who is an authorised nurse practitioner--suspend:

                              (i)  the approval of that person under section 84AAJ; or

                             (ii)  the authority to supply prescribed pharmaceutical benefits conferred upon that person by section 93AB; or

                     (c)  in the case of a defendant who is an approved pharmacist--suspend the approval of that pharmacist under section 90.

             (2)  If a person is convicted of an offence referred to in subsection (1), the Minister may, by notice in writing:

                     (a)  where the Secretary has, under subsection (1), suspended an authority or approval that relates to the person--remove that suspension; and

                     (b)  suspend, or further suspend, for such period as the Minister specifies in the notice, or revoke, any authority or approval referred to in a paragraph of subsection (1), being an authority or approval that relates to the person.

             (3)  For the purposes of subsection (2), a person shall be deemed to have been convicted of an offence if the court concerned thought that the charge in relation to the offence was proved but, without proceeding to conviction, discharged the person conditionally on the person's entering into a recognizance.

             (4)  The Minister may, at any time, by notice in writing:

                     (a)  remove a suspension, or further suspension, imposed under subsection (2); or

                     (b)  restore any approval or authority revoked under subsection (2).

             (5)  If, upon the hearing of a charge for an offence referred to in subsection (1), the person is acquitted, any suspension under subsection (1) in relation to him or her ceases to have effect.

             (6)  If a medical practitioner, a dental practitioner, an optometrist, a midwife, a nurse practitioner or a pharmacist is charged before a court with an offence referred to in subsection (1):

                     (a)  any act or conduct to which the charge relates shall not be referred for investigation or report by a Committee of Inquiry; and

                     (b)  any investigation by a Committee of Inquiry into any such act or conduct shall cease.

             (7)  In this section:

"approved pharmacist " has the same meaning as in Part VII.

"authorised midwife " has the same meaning as in Part VII.

"authorised nurse practitioner " has the same meaning as in Part VII.

"authorised optometrist " has the same meaning as in Part VII.

"PBS prescriber " has the same meaning as in Part VII.

"pharmacist " includes a person to whom subsection 90(6) applies.



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