'Rambling' GP fails in bid to regain medical licence


A doctor who was struck off the register for "gross misconduct" has failed in a court bid to appeal the loss of his medical licence.

Former general practitioner John Yuk Ching Ting, from Redcliffe north of Brisbane, had his medical registration cancelled in December 2022.

The Court of Appeal in Brisbane on Tuesday dismissed his appeal and ordered him to pay the Medical Ombudsman's costs.

Justice Thomas Bradley said the claims against Ting were serious but his arguments to the court had been at times rambling and incomprehensible.

"(Ting) has not identified any error of law by the judicial member or any mistake in the relevant findings of fact," Justice Bradley stated.

Ting was found by the ombudsman to have engaged in professional misconduct that included prescribing the maximum dose of an opiate withdrawal drug to a patient who died later the same day.

The ombudsman did not claim the Suboxone medication Ting prescribed led to the death, but found he had failed to obtain the patient's full circumstances and should have provided a minimum dose to reduce the risk.

In the decision to strike off Ting, the ombudsman stated that the former GP had shown little or no understanding of his failures including at hearings before the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal in July 2022.

"Apart from his admissions, many qualified, (Ting) has done nothing to address the underlying causes of his gross misconduct," the ombudsman said.

The patient's death led to closer scrutiny of Ting by medical regulators, who were then told of allegations that he injected another patient with a dose of iron supplement that was too high given his medical condition.

The patient complained of pain, discomfort and skin discolouration persisting for about five months after the injection.

A performance assessment found Ting was at times seeing up to 13 patients every two hours and often failed to ask fundamental questions, conduct physical examinations or follow up when tests came back with abnormal results.

Ting was also found to have made inappropriate Medicare claims and failed to follow Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme guidelines for subsidised prescriptions.

Ting applied to the Court of Appeal to have his medical licence reinstated with conditions limiting him to working in anaesthesia and emergency medicine at a hospital, aged and disability care, home support and as a GP in a rural clinic or hospital.

The appeal was heard in July 2023 and Ting cross-examined both the doctors who assessed his performance for the original case.

Both witnesses disagreed with Ting's proposition that he could work in a rural hospital and said he was not competent to do so.