Dr James Manwaring from Hervey Bay.
Dr James Manwaring from Hervey Bay.

Should this man still be a doctor?

IN JUST 12 days' time a convicted rapist with a history of drug addiction who is working as a doctor on the Fraser Coast will apply to have his registration to practise renewed.

The Justice Department of Queensland has confirmed James Samuel Manwaring pleaded guilty to and was convicted of rape, attempted rape, deprivation of liberty, three assaults occasioning bodily harm and one common assault in the Brisbane District Court on September 2, 2002.

Dr Manwaring, who had been held in custody since the date of the offences on November 3, 2000, was sentenced to five years' jail. He did not serve the full term.

Following his 2002 conviction on violent sex charges, Dr Manwaring's registration was cancelled by the Health Practitioners Tribunal.

It was the second time that Dr Manwaring had been erased from the register of medical practitioners.

According to documents obtained by the Chronicle, the tribunal cancelled Dr Manwaring's registration on that occasion on July 19, 2005.

The Tribunal's Judge Griffin stipulated that hair testing was required before Dr Manwaring could make any subsequent application for registration.

The tribunal further ruled that Dr Manwaring was entitled to immediately reapply for registration as a medical practitioner but imposed at least 21 conditions on any re-registration.

These conditions included drug testing, urine screening and a requirement to work under supervision.

Dr Manwaring was re-registered on June 27, 2006, to practise as a doctor – less than one year after he was erased from the register.

In 2006, and again in 2007, the Queensland Government, through the Health Department and the Premiers Department, pledged in articles in the Queensland press to pursue more rigorous screening of health professionals following a public outcry over Dr Manwaring's readmission.

A Chronicle search of the Supreme Court library records has disclosed Dr Manwaring also has a history of drug addiction and misconduct.

This led to his being struck off the medical register for the first time on August 12, 1994.

On that date, at the hearing of the Medical Assessment Tribunal into serious complaints referred by the Medical Board, Justice Dowsett said of Dr Manwaring: “In summary, the evidence discloses a reliance on drugs which, in my view, amounts to addiction and to misconduct ...”

The tribunal then ordered that Dr Manwaring's name be erased from the register.

Detail about Dr Manwaring's past is absent from the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency website, which claims to publish a “national register of practitioners so important information about the registration of individual health practitioners is available to the public”.

The website does flag that there are conditions that apply to Dr Manwaring's registration but provides no detail as to what those conditions are.

The website also states that Dr Manwaring has no reprimands or suspensions.

The Chronicle attempted to contact Dr Manwaring yesterday for comment.

Surgery staff advised the Chronicle that Dr Manwaring was in conference or consulting and was unavailable for comment due to surgery policy.

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