A gynaecologist who once moonlighted as a fetish ball organiser has been suspended from practicing in Australia and is fighting to prevent medical authorities here taking the same action.
Hamilton-based Dr Naylin Appanna's registration to work across the Tasman was suspended by the Medical Board of Australia on September 30.
Legal action here by Appanna on September 13 prevented the Medical Council of New Zealand suspending him over a police investigation into the gynaecologist.
However the council said Appanna can only continue to practice if he has a chaperone present for all female patient consultations.
The events followed a raid by police of Appanna's practice and home on August 29. No charges have been laid and it's not clear what police were looking for.
Medical Council chairman Dr Curtis Walker said the council first became aware of concerns about Appanna's practice following notification from a member of the public and the police.
"The Medical Council made a decision to suspend Dr Appanna from practising.
"However, Dr Appanna applied to the District Court, asking the court to stay the suspension order until an appeal is heard."
Walker said the stay was granted without notification to the Medical Council or it being given an opportunity to be heard.
"Appanna has been allowed to continue to practice subject to a voluntary undertaking, which includes a chaperone being present for all female consultations."
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The condition has been in place since September 16.
Walker said the Medical Council had ordered an investigation by its professional conduct committee.
A spokeswoman for the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency [AHPRA] confirmed Appanna was suspended there.
"This decision was made using the board's immediate action powers. These powers enable the board to suspend a practitioner while further investigations are conducted.
"We can't say why Dr Appanna was suspended... this is information we can't share with you."
Hamilton Police Detective Sergeant Andrew Saunders confirmed that police executed search warrants at the two addresses and "seized a number of items for examination".
"These warrants were conducted as part of a police investigation and at this time no charges have been laid."
He could not comment on whether a complaint or allegations had been made against Appanna.
Appanna was not at the Women's Health Centre when the Herald visited Thursday and has not responded to previously emailed questions.
A sign at the reception outlined Appanna's "voluntary undertaking" to have a chaperone present during every patient consultation, but a staff member said the doctor was not expected in the practice this week.
Appanna's lawyer Harry Waalkens, QC, said it would be unwise to comment while any investigations were underway except to say: "Dr Appanna rigorously rejects any breaches of the law".
Appanna's wife Sandie Appanna fronted when the Herald visited the couple's home Thursday, asking the reporter to leave.
Appanna has previously moonlighted as an R18 events organiser, including co-organising the NZ Fetish Ball in Auckland and Christchurch.
He and his wife had co-run the Fetish Ball with business partner Glen Rossiter and were involved in the adult-only events industry for a decade.
Appanna said on his blog at the time he had never hidden his "numerous business interests" outside of his work as a gynaecologist.
These included running the Risque Events ticketing site and Cirlesque show - a burlesque come circus "extravaganza" which included nudity.
It's understood he has since relinquished all interests in the NZ Fetish Ball.
Doctor takes previous hospital suspension to court
In 2017 the Herald revealed Dr Naylin Appanna was suing a private Hamilton hospital for wrongful suspension.
In a High Court ruling on the case from March this year, Justice Paul Davison awarded Appanna total damages of $605,461 for breach of contract by Anglesea Hospital.
Anglesea Hospital suspended Appanna, originally from South Africa, after discovering the surgeon had been suspended from operating at Southern Cross Hospital in Hamilton.
According to Justice Davison's decision, that suspension related to concern that Appanna had breached an undertaking he gave not to use a technique involving heat close to the bowel.
Anglesea Hospital carried out an internal audit of 20 of Appanna's surgeries at the hospital and found three patients required admission to Waikato Hospital for complications where serious concerns were raised about two of the cases.
In a fourth case a nurse filed an event report claiming Appanna did not have patient consent to remove the woman's ovary during surgery.
In his defence Appanna told Anglesea Hospital an ovarian cyst was more extensive than he thought leaving minimal ovarian tissue, which was subsequently removed.
Appanna engaged external specialists who pointed out only one of the first three cases might have been a departure from acceptable standards but that all three complications had no similarities and did not represent a systemic problem with his practice.
The decision goes on to say the Medical Council investigated and found no information to show Appanna posed a risk of harm to the public.
After a protracted legal dispute Appanna's suspension was lifted on the condition he have a second surgeon with him on major surgeries.
However, according to Justice Davison's decision, almost all of the theatre nurses at Anglesea Hospital refused to work with Appanna, citing concerns over his surgical skill and techniques, making it extremely difficult for him to continue operating there.
He applied to a third private hospital in Hamilton, Braemar, to operate there but was declined twice.
In his decision, Justice Davison said Anglesea's decision to suspend Appanna's credentialing status without first giving him a chance to respond and dragging the case out over a year, caused him substantial prejudice.
Appanna had sought $4.29 million in lost income and damages.