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Involuntary admission of patients to hospital for mental health problems.

Rod Beckwith October 20, 2016


In 17 years as a doctor in Australia I have never had to arrange for the involuntary admission of a patient to hospital. Such an action would be rare and extraordinary, not least because it amounts to depriving a person of liberty for a short period of time. The situation could occur though, and every GP needs to be equipped to deal with it.


How do you do it? Locally, the law involved is the Mental Health Act (NSW) 2007. As a GP you need to complete the form “Schedule 1: Medical Certificate as to examination or observation of person”. Thus, when the form is completed the patient is said to have been “Scheduled.”


With this form completed the GP can request the police to attend and take the patient to an Emergency Department or Mental Health Unit for assessment.


Why would you do that? Obviously, the only reason for calling on the over-burdened police force is serious mental illness or mental disorder. The reasons defined by the Act and the form itself are essentially limited to protecting the patient from harm or protecting others from harm.


As a GP, you must include details of the abnormal behaviour and conduct of the patient, and give background information that would ordinarily form part of the referral of a patient anyway. You should be documenting the impairment of mental function observed and the apparent risk of harm to anybody. Mental function impairment could be delusions, hallucinations, disordered thought, severe mood disturbance, or irrational behaviour.


The risk of harm includes apprehended risk of violence, excessive gambling or other forms of wasteful spending, and uncharacteristic sexual disinhibition.


Once the patient is taken to hospital they must be examined by two authorised doctors to confirm the situation.


The form can be found at:


Author: Dr Rodney Beckwith | Medical Director & GP | Reliance Health

Reliance Health seeking CFO

Rod Beckwith August 25, 2016

Reliance Logosmall

Reliance Health seeking CFO

CFO Reliance Health

Salary Guidance:                              $120,000-150,000 plus equity potential.

Location:                                            Central Coast, NSW

Employer:                                          Reliance Health



 Reliance Health owns and operates medical practices on the Central Coast. We are looking to recruit a CFO who is experienced and capable of equipping a company for expansion within our growth strategy. Previous experience with franchising would be an advantage.

As a key member of the management team, the Chief Financial Officer will report to the CEO and assume a key role in the overall management of the company. The CFO will provide advice about achieving targeted growth. The CFO will have primary day-to-day responsibility for planning, implementing, managing and controlling all financial and administrative activities of the company. This will include direct responsibility for accounting, financial analysis, forecasting, and private or institutional financing. The CFO will contribute to strategic planning, legal, property management, deal analysis and negotiations, investor relationships, and partnership compliance.



  • Direct and oversee all aspects of the Finance & Accounting functions of the organization.

.         Manage the Reliance Health relationship with our accountant.

  • Contribute to strategic thinking for Reliance Health in general, and for identified business opportunities from a financial perspective specifically.
  • Provide comprehensive and stringent financial modelling for expansion.
  • Be an intrinsic part of developing the framework for driving expansion goals.
  • Create documentation for, and implementation of.sustainable and repeatable business processes within Finance and Administration.
  • Relationship management with financial institutions.
  • Execution of business insights and strategies within Finance and Administration.
  • Provide support and predefined financial pathway for potential investors.
  • Develop a holistic, end-to-end view of the company’s full value chain and provide insight to business owners and CEO.
  • Provide financial risk assessment inclusive of contingencies and financial benchmarking.
  • Provide leadership and continuous evaluation of short and long-term strategic financial objectives.
  • Ensure credibility of Finance by providing timely and accurate analysis of budgets, financial trends and forecasts.
  • Evaluate and advise on the impact of long range planning, introduction of new programs/ strategies and compliance.
  • Provide recommendations to strategically enhance financial performance and business opportunities.

Qualifications and Requirements:

  • Relevant Degree and Postgraduate qualifications
  • 10+ years in Financial Management
  • Knowledge of the medical industry and or franchising advantageous.
  • Prior experience in scaling business for expansion.

Personal Qualities:

  • Strong interpersonal skills, ability to communicate and manage staff at all levels of the organisation.
  • Dedication- the ability to wholeheartedly commit to Reliance Health values and goals.
  • Strategic thinker with problem solving and creative skills.
  • The ability to exercise sound judgment and make decisions based on accurate and timely analyses.
  • High level of integrity and dependability with a strong sense of urgency and results-orientation.

.         Commitment to Reliance Health’s values.

Reports to: The CEO.

Reports: Finance team, Marketing Manager, Group HR and Administration Manager


Reliance Health values integrity, communication, teamwork, people, innovation, and simplicity:

Recruitment process:

Shortlisted candidates will be required to undertake psychometric testing and provide a high level presentation from internal financial modelling regarding business scalability.


In the first instance, apply to Dr Rodney Beckwith, Reliance Health, at email address The closing date for applications is COB October 4, 2016.


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  • This development is supported by financial assistance from the Australian Government under the GP Super Clinics Program.

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