Court returns common sense to GP duty of care

Nicole Kroesche

Avant Claims Team Leader; claims manager overseeing the case.

In June this year, the case was overturned by the NSW Court of Appeal, which found that there was not a breach of duty on the part of a GP in failing to write an additional referral when the patient had not followed the GP’s initial and subsequent advice.

The Almario v Varipatis case brought squarely into question the sometimes difficult balance between a doctor’s duty to advise and treat a patient against the right of an individual to exercise free will; a scenario that will be familiar to many doctors, particularly when managing patients with chronic health conditions.

From the early stages of Avant’s investigations, we recognised this case carried significance for the wider medical profession. A finding for