Questions remain over psychiatrist

By Andrew Koubaridis

Paul Fox also attracted attention in the US when it was revealed he treated the Sandy Hook gunman Adam Lanza as a teenager. Photo / Thinkstock
Paul Fox also attracted attention in the US when it was revealed he treated the Sandy Hook gunman Adam Lanza as a teenager. Photo / Thinkstock

A doctor who quit the United States amid controversy over an alleged affair with a patient had already been working in Hamilton for a month when he surrendered his medical licence in his home country.

Dr Paul Fox began working as a psychiatrist at Waikato District Health Board's mental health and addictions service in June 2012, just before he formally gave up the ability to practise psychiatry where he had been registered in New York and Connecticut.

The health board has confirmed he told them he surrendered his licence but a question mark still hangs over whether they were aware of allegations of misconduct made in the States.

Medical authorities in the US had concerns over his interactions with a patient, who claimed they had an affair. The possible "boundary violations" were investigated but no charges were laid as he surrendered his licence and agreed not to contest the allegations in front of Connecticut medical authorities.

However, he maintained "no guilt or wrongdoing" in an affidavit where he formally surrendered the licence.

Dr Fox also attracted attention in the US when it was revealed he treated the Sandy Hook gunman Adam Lanza as a teenager. Lanza later shot dead 26 people in the second-worst school shooting in US history.

He became a fulltime employee in July last year after his time as a locum ended. Health board chief executive Craig Climo yesterday said investigations into Dr Fox were still ongoing.

"We will review the circumstances around Dr Fox's appointment as soon as we can. We don't yet have complete information as key people involved in his registration and employment are on holiday."

It was hoped the investigation would be completed by next week, when Dr Fox is due to return to work. The health board has previously said Dr Fox was fully registered and credentialled to practise in New Zealand and was a "good addition" to the mental health team.

"We have started a review and will complete it as soon as key people involved in his registration and employment return from leave," Mr Climo said.

"As part of our review, we will look into whether there was full disclosure."

The Medical Council of New Zealand has said if it is discovered Dr Fox withheld information it would be treated with "the upmost seriousness". A spokesman yesterday said they were still waiting to speak to Dr Fox.

- NZ Herald

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