29 Jul 2013

Doctor may face legal action

10:15 pm on 29 July 2013

A family doctor faces possible legal action for making inappropriate sexual advances to a female patient.

The case is detailed in a report by the Health and Disability Commissioner Anthony Hill released on Monday.

Mr Hill said the woman saw the locum doctor for depression and an ear problem and let him hug her afterwards.

He then locked the door, closed the blinds, asked her to lean over a table and made inappropriate sexual movements.

The doctor also visited the woman at work later that day, undid his trousers and asked her to perform a sexual act on him, which she refused.

The Medical Council heard about the advances from another doctor and placed conditions on his practice including a chaperone.

The doctor told Mr Hill he knew he had breached standards, but argued the behaviour was consensual - a claim the commissioner rejected.

Mr Hill said there is zero tolerance for doctors who breach sexual boundaries with a current patient and the behaviour was unusual and totally inappropriate.

"It is serious behaviour, it is an exploitation of a trusted relationship, It goes to the heart of the trust relationship that patients have with their doctors - and that's the reason for the zero tolerance approach and hence the accountability that follows for this doctor."