Medical practitioner suspended for one year for professional misconduct

01 Aug 2017

A general practitioner has been suspended for one year, reprimanded and ordered to pay $20,000 in costs for behaving in a way that constitutes professional misconduct.

General practitioner Dr Olubukunmi Olubodun has had his registration suspended for one year, been reprimanded and ordered to pay $20,000 in costs after admitting to behaving in a way that constitutes professional misconduct.

The Medical Board of Australia (the Board) referred allegations against Dr Olubodun to the State Administrative Tribunal (the tribunal) in Western Australia on 19 August 2016. The Board alleged Dr Olubudun breached professional boundaries, issued a prescription without consultation or record, and failed to comply with conditions on his practice.

During the course of the tribunal proceedings, Dr Olubodun admitted he had behaved in a way that constitutes professional misconduct. He admitted that in 2011 and 2012, he had treated a patient with whom he was in a close, personal relationship shortly before accepting the patient for treatment. During the treatment period, he made 87 phone calls and sent 94 text messages to the patient without clinical reason and in doing so, acted contrary to Good Medical Practice, a Code of Conduct for Doctors in Australia and Sexual Boundaries: Guidelines for Doctors. He further admitted to issuing a prescription for the patient for Pristiq tablets (an antidepressant) on 11 August 2012 and made no note of his consultation, his attendance with the patient or the issue of the prescription in the patient’s medical notes.

The patient’s mental health condition contributed to a significant delay in a complaint being raised about Dr Olubodun’s conduct. When a notification was made, the Board took immediate action against Dr Olubodun on 23 October 2014, imposing conditions on his registration, including a requirement for Dr Olubodun to maintain professional boundaries, not to treat any female patient without an adult female chaperone present, and to complete a chaperone log sheet for female patients to be countersigned by the chaperone and provided to the Board on a fortnightly basis.

During the tribunal proceedings, Dr Olubodun admitted that in 2016 he breached the conditions imposed on his registration by way of immediate action, by:

  • failing on nine occasions to inform female patients about the requirement for a chaperone to be present at all times when he consulted and treated them
  • failing on 11 occasions to have a chaperone present at all times when he consulted and treated female patients, and
  • on a number of occasions, failing to provide chaperone logs to the Board or by providing incomplete logs.

Furthermore, on a number of occasions, chaperone logs were signed by a registered nurse or other person identified as a chaperone, when no chaperone was present at the consultation.

Dr Olubodun made early admissions about engaging in a sexual relationship shortly before beginning a therapeutic relationship with the patient, and to continuing a subsequent close, personal relationship while he provided medical care and treatment to the patient. In addition, Dr Olubodun undertook further education on professional boundaries.

On 23 June 2017, the tribunal ordered that Dr Olubodun’s registration as a medical practitioner be suspended for 12 months, he be reprimanded, and pay $20,000 towards the Board’s legal costs.

The decision is published on the tribunal’s website.

Page reviewed 1/08/2017