Tribunal cancels ‘predatory’ GP’s registration for four years

22 Aug 2017

The Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (the tribunal) has cancelled the registration of general practitioner Dr Muhammad Azam and disqualified him from re-applying for registration for a period of four years.

The Medical Board of Australia (the Board) referred the matter to the tribunal after it received complaints in relation to two patients that Dr Azam had failed to maintain appropriate professional boundaries.

Allegations included that:

  • In relation to patient JBD, Dr Azam had attempted to kiss her, he said inappropriate things to her and had sexual intercourse with her. It was also alleged that Dr Azam had engaged in harassing or intimidating behaviour towards JBD, including by contacting the patient directly and hiring a private investigator to contact the patient to persuade her to withdraw her notification. Dr Azam was eventually charged with unlawful stalking and released on a bail undertaking including conditions that he have no contact with the patient or her family 
  • In relation to patient ANS, Dr Azam had embraced her and had said inappropriate things to her 
  • Dr Azam had breached conditions imposed by the Board that required him to have a ‘chaperone’ present whenever he consulted a female patient by:
    • consulting a female patient without a chaperone present 
    • directing a nurse employed at the practice to falsify the chaperone register 
    • failing to maintain the chaperone register on various occasions.

These allegations were denied by Dr Azam.

In its first decision on 29 May 2017, the tribunal found all allegations against Dr Azam to be proven and that his conduct clearly amounted to professional misconduct.

The tribunal hearing resumed on 19 June 2017 and the tribunal issued its decision to cancel Dr Azam’s registration and disqualify him from applying for registration for four years on 28 June 2017. The tribunal also ordered that Dr Azam pay the Board’s costs.

The tribunal made the following findings:

  • Dr Azam’s behaviour during consultations with vulnerable patients was clearly grooming them for something more and was predatory in nature. 
  • Dr Azam’s conduct in falsifying, or having others falsify, the chaperone register showed a willingness to mislead the Board and that he had little regard for the protective functions performed by the Board. 
  • Dr Azam’s conduct was compounded by his bullying behaviour towards nursing and reception staff at the medical practice. 
  • Dr Azam never gained any insight into his behaviour or gave any remorse. He did not show any contrition or thought to the affect of his actions. 
  • His actions in harassing a patient reflect very poorly upon Dr Azam’s character.

The tribunal stated that ‘Dr Azam’s lack of remorse and insight, his continued denial of the allegations and dishonest behaviour are inconsistent with him being a fit and proper person to hold registration in the profession’.

The tribunal made further comments that it will be a matter for Dr Azam to prove his fitness to practice to the Board if he ever seeks to reapply for registration.

The reasons for the tribunal’s decision are published on Queensland’s Supreme Court Library website.

 
 
Page reviewed 22/08/2017