Public Statement and Statement of Decision in relation to Mr Samir Ishak

25 June 2019

The NSW Health Care Complaints Commission conducted an investigation into the conduct of Mr Samir Fahmy Ishak, a Sonographer, as a result of his conviction at the NSW Downing Centre District Court in December 2016 of nine charges of aggravated indecent assault under section 61M(1) of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW).

The investigation found that Mr Ishak breached Clause 3(1) of the Code of Conduct for non-registered Health Practitioners made under Schedule 3 of the Public Health Regulation 2012 and provided health services in an unsafe and unethical manner for the five female patients he consulted separately for breast, pelvic and/or transvaginal ultrasounds, in the following ways:

  • During the consultation with Patient A for a trans-vaginal ultrasound on 4 May 2011 Mr Ishak used his left hand to swipe across her body, touching her clitoral hood.
  • During the consultation with Patient B for an ultrasound examination of a lump on her left breast on 3 November 2014 Mr Ishak used his left hand to squeeze Patient B’s left nipple quite hard for around 30 seconds to one minute, and he did this whilst the lower part of his body was pressing against Patient B’s legs. Mr Ishak also simultaneously pulled both of her nipples, causing Patient B pain and discomfort. Mr Ishak then cupped both of her breasts in his hands and juggled them for about three to five seconds. Following this he then pressed the palm of his hand on each of Patient B’s breasts and made a circular motion, moving his hand around on the breasts for a few seconds.
  • During the consultation with Patient C for an ultrasound examination of her pelvis on 4 November 2014 Mr Ishak moved the transducer from the lump in her groin lower and side to side until it was pressing against the top of her labia. 
  • During the consultation with Patient D for a trans-vaginal ultrasound on 21 November 2014 Mr Ishak, prior to inserting the transducer into her vagina, without warning placed his hand at the top of her vagina so that his thumb was on her clitoris, his palm was on the top of her labia majora and his fingers were towards her belly. Mr Ishak pressed down and he kept his hand in that position for more than five seconds. Mr Ishak then used his left hand to touch and part her labia majora, starting from the top near her clitoris and moving his fingers downwards. While parting the labia, he repeated this action about four times. Mr Ishak then proceeded to conduct the trans-vaginal ultrasound and halfway through the examination he stopped to retrieve a cushion and asked Patient D to raise her hips, which she did, and he put his right hand on her bottom and kept his hand there while he slid the pillow underneath her. Mr Ishak then slid his hand down her bottom, down to underneath her knees and did so slowly.
  • During the consultation with Patient E for a trans-vaginal ultrasound on 27 November 2014 Mr Ishak properly inserted the transducer into her vagina and then used his left hand to touch and spread her labia majora and labia minora and pressed against the top of her clitoris. He did this about three or four times.

The evidence indicates that Mr Ishak’s conduct was deliberate and had no clinical basis. His assault of these five female patients was a serious breach of the trust that patients place in healthcare practitioners, especially when procedures are involved that place the patient at a level of discomfort and vulnerability.

 

Prohibition Order:

The Commission is satisfied that Mr Ishak has breached the Code of Conduct, poses a risk to the health or safety of members of the public, and therefore makes the following permanent prohibition order

  • Mr Samir Ishak is permanently prohibited from providing any health services in any capacity, either paid or voluntary.

For the purpose of this order, ‘health service’ is given the meaning as defined under section 4 of the Act.

Further Information

Access the Commission’s Public Statement and Statement of Decision here

For further information, contact the Executive Officer of the Health Care Complaints Commission, on 9219 7444.