Public Statement in relation to Mr Juan Valenzuela
24 January 2012
Under section 41A(2) of the Health Care Complaints Act 1993, the Commission has made a prohibition order and has decided to issue the following public statement:
The NSW Health Care Complaints Commission conducted an investigation into the professional conduct of an unregistered health practitioner, Mr Juan Valenzuela. Mr Valenzuela is a Shiatsu therapist and Reiki Master based in Winmalee in the Blue Mountains.
The investigation found that Mr Valenzuela breached Clauses 3(1) and 13(1) of the Code of Conduct for Unregistered Health Practitioners. These clauses state that:
- 3(1) - A health practitioner must provide health services in a safe and ethical manner;
- 13(1) - A health practitioner must not engage in a sexual or other close personal relationship with a client.
The investigation found that Mr Valenzuela breached the relevant clauses of the Code of Conduct for Unregistered Practitioners by;
- Indecently assaulting a client on 19 February 2010, in the course of providing her with a health service (Reiki).
- Establishing a close personal relationship with this client, who was 35 years his junior and whom he knew to have experienced some past trauma.
On 14 July 2011 Mr Valenzuela was convicted on three counts of indecent assault arising from his conduct in relation to this client, and sentenced to a two year good behaviour bond.
As a result of this investigation, the Commission was satisfied that Mr Valenzuela poses a risk to public health and safety.
The Commission therefore made the following prohibition order under s41A (2)(a)(i) of the Health Care Complaints Act 1993:
Mr Valenzuela is prohibited from providing Shiatsu massage, Reiki treatment and any other health service for the duration of the two year good behaviour bond to which he was sentenced on 14 July 2011.
At the end of the two year prohibition period, if Mr Valenzuela wishes to provide health services based on Reiki treatment or Shiatsu massage, he must first obtain membership of, and accreditation with, the Australian Traditional Medicine Society (ATMS) or other relevant professional association.
Read the related Media Release
For further information, contact the Executive Officer of the Health Care Complaints Commission on 9219 7444 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.