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Medical practitioner’s registration cancelled for serious and unethical misconduct

29 Nov 2017

A tribunal has cancelled a general practitioner’s registration, disqualified him from reapplying for 21 months and ordered him to pay Board costs for serious and unethical misconduct.

A tribunal has cancelled medical practitioner Wijeneka Liyanage's registration for serious and unethical misconduct, which included an inappropriate personal relationship with a patient, unsatisfactory professional performance in relation to two other patients, and for deleting and falsifying medical records with the intention of misleading an investigation into his practice.

Mr Liyanage was a general practitioner with a special interest in skin cancer, having completed a Primary Certificate in Skin Cancer Medicine in 2010.

The Medical Board of Australia (the Board) referred Mr Liyanage to the Northern Territory Civil and Administrative Tribunal (the tribunal) in October 2016 for his performance and conduct in relation to four patients.

In referring the matter to the tribunal, the Board alleged Mr Liyanage:

  • had a sexual relationship with patient A and later sent her text messages in an attempt to influence her not to provide information to, and raise a complaint with, the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA)
  • failed to conduct an adequate skin check in relation to Patients B and C and make adequate notes of the consultation
  • deleted the original medical records of Patients B and C, re-created the records and presented them with the intention of misleading AHPRA and/or the Board in its investigation, and
  • deleted the original medical records of Patient D and re-created them with the intention of misleading the investigation into his conduct and for the purpose of providing misleading information to the Board.

At the time of the tribunal hearing, Mr Liyanage’s registration was suspended following a decision by the Board to take immediate action on 8 July 2016 after it received information that he had falsified patient records relevant to the Board’s investigations. Mr Liyanage appealed the decision of the Board to take immediate action but the tribunal confirmed the Board’s decision in November 2016.

On 1 September 2017, the tribunal found Mr Liyanage had behaved in a way that constituted professional misconduct in relation to all four patients and unsatisfactory professional performance in relation to Patients B and C. It also found that there was no evidence to suggest he had genuine remorse or that he is likely to conduct himself ethically if, in the future, his own interests conflict with the interests of the public.

On 5 October 2017, the tribunal ordered that Mr Liyanage’s registration be cancelled and disqualified him from applying for registration for 21 months. He was ordered to pay the Board’s costs of the proceedings.
The decisions are published on the Austlii website.


Page reviewed 29/11/2017