Practitioner facing sexual assault charges loses appeal against suspension

01 Jul 2021

A Melbourne medical practitioner remains suspended after losing his appeal against immediate action taken by the Medical Board of Australia (the Board).

Dr Ahmed Kamil Mohamed Cassim was suspended by the Board by way of immediate action on 29 March 2021.

Given the serious allegations of sexual assault by a number of the practitioner’s patients, the Board believed that immediate action, in the form of suspension, was required to protect against serious risk to persons and to maintain public confidence in the medical profession.

Dr Cassim denies the conduct with which he has been charged and appealed the Board’s decision to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (the tribunal).

On June 8, the tribunal upheld the Board’s decision, noting:

  • a reasonable belief that, because of the conduct of Dr Cassim, he poses a serious risk to person and it is necessary to take immediate action to protect public health and safety
  • a reasonable belief that the taking of immediate action against Dr Cassim is ‘otherwise in the public interest’ for the purposes of section 156(1)(e) of the National Law1
  • the seriousness of the allegations brought against Dr Cassim; the similarities in the alleged conduct and the corroborating nature of the accounts given by the patients, the escalating nature of the conduct and the evidence of the adverse impact on two of the patients
  • gender-based restrictions, as proposed by Dr Cassim, would not be appropriate or sufficient to address the risk posed by the alleged conduct, that is, a risk to public confidence in the medical profession itself. In this regard, the tribunal further noted that, even if Dr Cassim is restricted to consultations with male patients, he may still have interactions with women in the course of his practice.

The tribunal’s decision was published on AustLII website on 8 June.

1 The Health Practitioner Regulation National Law, as in force in each state and territory (the National Law).

 
 
Page reviewed 1/07/2021