13 Dec 2012

Psychiatrist paid woman to keep quiet about affair

8:49 pm on 13 December 2012

A psychiatrist is to be investigated further after a patient complained that he had an inappropriate relationship with her.

Health and Disability Commissioner Anthony Hill has concluded that the psychiatrist breached the Code of Health and Disability Services and the patient's rights.

The commissioner's report says the 24-year-old woman had a history of mental illness, including a fear of separation and discomfort with intimate relationships.

It says that five meetings after the first consultation in April 2008, the pair began sexual relations which continued until February 2009.

The psychiatrist paid the woman $42,000 at the end of the relationship and asked her to deny it happened if asked by the commissioner.

Mr Hill found that the psychiatrist failed to provide the correct treatment for the woman, engaged in an inappropriate relationship and then tried to get her to provide false information.

He has referred the psychiatrist to the Director of Proceedings, an independent lawyer appointed under the Health and Disability Commissioner Act.

The commissioner says the psychiatrist's behaviour is unacceptable.

"There are a series of very severe difficulties with the behaviour of this individual and it's for that reason that I have referred him to the director of proceedings.

"It is likely that disciplinary proceedings will be taken and that's a matter for the director to consider."

Mr Hill says the psychiatrist is now working in another country.