Optometrist fined for practising after registration lapsed

21 May 2021

A Sydney-based optometrist who continued practising after his registration lapsed has been fined $7,700 after pleading guilty to nine charges brought by Ahpra.  He was also ordered to pay Ahpra’s legal costs of $4,813.40.

Jeremy Chan’s registration lapsed in 2003 after he failed to renew it.  While unregistered, he continued to practise from his Sydney-based clinic.  In September 2019, he became aware he was not registered and immediately ceased working. He has since returned to the register after reapplying for registration.

He was sentenced yesterday by the Downing Centre Local Court of New South Wales for one charge of holding himself out as an optometrist and eight charges of prescribing optical appliances in breach of the National Law. Ahpra’s prosecution related to the period between 1 July and 25 September 2019, when Mr Chan worked and performed his usual duties as the clinic’s sole optometrist. 

Magistrate Greenwood noted that Mr Chan was very dedicated to his patients and there was no evidence of any harm done but commented that the ‘community has the right to expect all health practitioners they deal with to be registered.’

Ahpra CEO, Mr Martin Fletcher, said: ‘Maintaining current registration is an important professional obligation for all registered health practitioners. This court outcome is a timely reminder for all registered practitioners to keep on top of their registration requirements. Falsely claiming to be a registered health practitioner or prescribing optical appliances without being registered or authorised is a criminal offence under the National Law.’

Mr Fletcher said the public could check their treating practitioner is registered using the online national register of practitioners.

Anyone with concerns about the registration of a practitioner can contact Ahpra  on 1300 419 495.

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Page reviewed 21/05/2021