An overseas-trained psychiatrist has been sacked by the Waikato District Health Board for failing to immediately tell it of a patient's complaint against him in the United States.

Dr Robert Ivan Fink's dismissal last week is the latest in a string of controversies to afflict the DHB's mental health services.

An American psychiatrist, Fink had worked in the DHB's adult mental health outpatient services on a locum contract since last August.

A former patient in the US made a complaint against him last November, said Derek Wright, the director of the DHB's mental health and addiction services.


Fink had failed to tell the DHB of the complaint at the time and when in April he was told the complaint was being investigated he again failed to notify the DHB.

"The outcome of the inquiry was that the doctor should have restrictions placed on his practice [and] he then informed us of this last week," Wright said.

Fink could not be contacted for comment yesterday.

Two other Waikato psychiatric staffers to have fallen foul of authorities are Dr Paul Fox and Mohamed Shakeel Siddiqui.

In April, US media reported that former Waikato DHB psychiatrist Fox -- who lost his New Zealand medical registration in 2014 -- had been arrested over allegations of having sexually assaulted a patient before he came to New Zealand. Fox, who had treated US mass killer Adam Lanza, worked for the DHB for 19 months before returning to the US.

Siddiqui is awaiting trial on charges of faking psychiatrist qualifications to get a job at the DHB. He had worked there for several months last year as a consultant psychiatrist before concerns were raised.

Questions have been raised about Waikato's mental health services since the death of Nicky Stevens in March last year. Aged 21, he was found dead in the Waikato River, after being released from the Henry Rongomau Bennett Centre, a DHB psychiatric facility.

Earlier this month a woman on leave from her voluntary stay as an inpatient was found dead in bushes near the river.

In April, the Ministry of Health published what the Green Party called a "damning" report on the DHB's mental health services. The report highlighted short-staffing and staff burn-out, issues the ministry said the DHB was addressing.

The DHB said today it did not know which US authority had placed conditions on Fink's practice.

"We are just responding to what Dr Fink has told us."

Wright said no concerns had arisen in Fink's clinical practice for the DHB.

"Dr Fink saw the vast majority of his patients in the company of another member of staff or family member. He was respected by his patients and their families and has been described as professional and appropriate in all his dealings with others."

Referee and other usual checks were carried out when Fink was hired.