Medical board bans Albury-Wodonga surgeon

A surgeon who performed hundreds of potentially dodgy colonoscopies in the NSW-Victorian border region of Albury-Wodonga has been temporarily banned from practising medicine.

Dr Liu-Ming Schmidt will remain registered in Australia, but cannot perform any medical procedures or treat patients according to conditions imposed on Friday.

Close to 2000 patients who received colonoscopies performed or supervised by Dr Schmidt were told this week they may need to have their procedures repeated to ensure they don't have cancer.

A panel of experts reviewed procedures involving Dr Schmidt at Albury Wodonga Health, Albury Wodonga Private Hospital and Insight Private Hospital from 2018 to 2022 after one of her colleagues raised concerns in July.

She was stood down from working at Albury Wodonga Health pending the result of the review, which found some of the colonoscopies were incomplete.

But the surgeon continued in her private hospital roles until they were informed of the review's outcome in late December.

The Health Care Complaints Commission (HCCC) and Medical Council of NSW manage complaints about registered doctors and medical students in NSW.

The commission said it had received a number of complaints about Dr Schmidt, who is registered in NSW.

"As a result Dr Schmidt now has a condition not to practise medicine placed on her registration," an HCCC spokesperson said.

"The commission is now conducting further detailed enquiries to determine the next regulatory steps."

The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) does not have jurisdiction to investigate complaints in NSW, unlike other states and territories.

"When allegations are raised about health practitioners in NSW, AHPRA must refer those to the NSW co-regulators," a spokesperson said.

Only the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal have legal powers to make an order to deregister a doctor.

A recent NSW inquest examined the death of one of Dr Schmidt's patients, William Edmunds, who died following complications after a procedure to remove part of his bowel.

Wodonga Health chief executive William Appleby said the death was unrelated to concerns raised about colonoscopies.

The decision of NSW authorities to impose conditions on Dr Schmidt's registration came after Safer Care Victoria began contacting private and public patients about the colonoscopy recall.

Colonoscopies are often used to detect bowel cancer, with Shine Lawyers encouraging any affected patients later diagnosed with cancer to seek independent legal advice.

Albury Wodonga Health is operated by Victoria's Department of Health despite the base hospital falling on the NSW side of the border, potentially exposing the southern state to compensation claims.

Victorian Police Minister Anthony Carbines said state authorities were working through the cross-jurisdictional technicalities.

"I wouldn't get caught up in what may happen," he told reporters on Friday.