Tribunal finds allegations made against a doctor not proven

07 Jun 2017

A tribunal has dismissed allegations of professional misconduct against a general practitioner.

The Victorian Civil and Administration Tribunal (VCAT) dismissed the Medical Board of Australia’s (the Board) allegations against general practitioner Dr Azit Kumar Das.

Dr Das had conditions imposed on his registration when the alleged incident occurred. The conditions were that Dr Das would not consult with any female patient without a chaperone being present for the entire consultation and he must ensure there is a visible sign in the waiting area advising patients that a chaperone will be present whenever Dr Das consults with a female patient.

It was alleged that on 23 November 2013, Dr Das had engaged in:

  1. professional misconduct by conducting an examination of his female patient (the Patient) that was inappropriate in that it was without clinical justification, was performed without informed consent and was of a sexual nature;
  2. professional misconduct in that while the condition applied to Dr Das’ registration as a medical practitioner that he was not to consult with any female patient without a chaperone being present for the entire consultation, he consulted with the Patient without a chaperone being present for the entire consultation; and
  3. unprofessional conduct in that he breached a condition on his registration that required him to ensure there is an easily visible sign in the waiting area advising patients that a chaperone will be present whenever Dr Das consults with a female patient by failing to ensure that occurred.

Dr Das denied each allegation.

The tribunal stated that the patient’s evidence as to what happened in the room between Dr Das and her on 23 November 2013 has been ‘very largely consistent’ and is plausible in terms of her description of what Dr Das did. However, that evidence was contradicted by the body of evidence called on behalf of Dr Das which included evidence from the nurse who said that she was the chaperone present at the time of the alleged incident and a chaperone logbook confirming that nurse was present at the date and time of the alleged misconduct. Evidence was also provided that a chaperone sign was present in the waiting area.

The tribunal found that the three allegations against Dr Das were not proven. In dismissing the Board’s application the tribunal stated that they were not able to reach ‘a comfortable level of satisfaction’ in the evidence that matched the ‘gravity of each of the allegations’ to find any of them proven.

The decision is available on the AustLii website.

 
 
Page reviewed 7/06/2017