Breast screen clinic fined for deceit

Tim Clarke
Breast screen clinic fined for deceit

A Perth clinic that falsely claimed to offer an alternative breast screening service which could detect cancer has been fined $75,000, while the controversial former doctor involved must pay a $25,000 penalty.

Back in March, Breast Check were found guilty in the Federal Court of misleading or deceptive conduct in their marketing of the devices used in its breast imaging services.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission claimed women were being misled by the company's claim about the MEM device, which was said to use electric currents or thermal imaging to assure women they did not have breast cancer.

Former director Alexandra Boyd was also found to have been knowingly concerned in Breast Check’s conduct.

In a Federal Court judgment today, the company and Mrs Boyd were fined a total of $100,000, and served injunctions not to advertise their services in the same way again.

Justice Michael Barker said the the representations made in pamphlets advertising the service had the potential to divert women "from using a medically recognised and more reliable means of breast imaging" .

Doctor Boyd was last year struck off the medical register after an inquest ruled that her cancer treatments - masterminded by Austrian doctor Hellfried Sartor - accelerated the deaths of at least four women.

Today's ruling came after another Perth company, Safe Breast Imaging and its sole director Joanne Firth were last month fined $250,000 for similarly falsely represented the accuracy of its screening technology.

Ms Firth, who was Mrs Boyd's practice manager, has also been banned from running a company for four years.