Doctor charged with misconduct over affair with former patient

By Brendan Manning

File photo / Thinkstock
File photo / Thinkstock

A doctor has been charged with professional misconduct, suspended for four months and ordered to pay costs of more than $30,000 following an affair with a former patient.

The married female doctor - whose name is suppressed - was charged with professional misconduct by the Health Practitioners Professional Conduct Committee after she entered a sexual relationship with a former patient between February and April 2012.

At a concert they attended together, Mr A commented Dr N had not taken off her wedding ring and asked her to remove it.

Dr N reassured Mr A, telling him she had always been open with him about her situation. They then discussed the future of their relationship.

The next month Mr A told medical staff he had met a married woman whom he communicated with by letter, email and ``through music''.

On discovering his admission, Dr N made a voluntary notification to the Medical Council.

Dr N's annual practising certificate expired on November 30, 2012 and she did not apply for a renewal. She is now deemed to be non-practising.

The tribunal upheld the charge of professional misconduct and suspended Dr N for four months.

Prior to resumption of practice, a psychological report of Dr N would need to be carried out to the satisfaction of the Medical Council, the decision stated.

Dr N was also ordered to pay $26,700 for the conduct committee's costs and disbursements and $8100 for the tribunal's.

- APNZ

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