Sex clinic slammed over consultations
A clinic for sexual dysfunction has been reprimanded for prescribing medication to four men without properly assessing them.
A report by the Health and Disability commissioner Anthony Hill has raised a number of concerns about the treatment of the men between 2007 and 2009 by the Advanced Medical Institute.
Some of the male patients were being prescribed medication for sexual dysfunction over the phone by a doctor in Australia.
The commissioner also found the institute was prescribing medication without checking the full medical history of patients.
Two of the doctors were singled out in the report.
In one case, a doctor assessed a 50-year-old man with erectile dysfunction and a prostate problem over the phone from Australia.
The doctor prescribed a 12-month treatment programme costing $2880.
However, the patient told the doctor he wanted a face-to-face assessment and did not consent to the treatment.
Yet the patient's credit card was billed the following day.
Health and Disability clinical advisor David Maplesden said medication prescribed by a doctor in Australia should not then be dispensed in New Zealand.
''It was inappropriate for such medication to be delivered to [the patient] before he had received a suitable assessment.''
In another case, a doctor prescribed an injection to a patient without first performing a full physical examination, discussing alternative treatments or recording the medication prescribed.
''The Advanced Medical Institute did not have robust systems in place to ensure patients received a face-to-face consultation, were adequately examined, or were given full information about the medication and treatment options before medications were recommended and/or prescribed,'' Maplesden said.
The institute also had a "poor and ineffective" complaints procedures, he said.
The commissioner stressed the importance of assessing patients in the clinics and providing patients with adequate information before medication was recommended or provided.
Following recommendations from the commissioner, the Advanced Medical Institute had since reviewed its procedures.
The individual doctors and the clinic were also asked to apologise to the affected patients.
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