Dr Hugh Joffe – Registration Cancelled for Professional Misconduct

22 August 2018

The Health Care Complaints Commission prosecuted a complaint against Dr Hugh Joffe, a registered psychologist, before the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (“the Tribunal”), based on the following allegations:

  • a failure to provide appropriate care and treatment,
  • providing an excessive number of sessions per week for treatment,
  • charging excessive fees for therapy sessions, and
  • breaching professional boundaries in relation to various communications with the patient and by working on a documentary film project with the patient.

On 2 August 2018 the Tribunal found Dr Joffe guilty of unsatisfactory professional conduct and professional misconduct.  The Tribunal found the boundary violation was of the most serious kind and exploited a vulnerable patient, breaching all relevant codes of conduct in relation to the maintenance of trust and confidence in the psychologist/patient relationship. The Tribunal was also concerned that Dr Joffe displayed a lack of insight into the seriousness of his conduct.

The Tribunal ordered that:

  • Dr Joffe’s registration is cancelled and he is not entitled to apply for reregistration for a period of four years.
  • Dr Joffe is prohibited from providing all ‘Health Services” as defined in s4 of the Health Care Complaints Act 1993 which includes the following services, whether provided as public, private or volunteer services, unless and until he obtains re-registration as a psychologist:
    (a) community health services;
    (b) counselling;
    (c) health education services;
    (d) mental health services;
    (e) hypnotherapy;
    (f) psychotherapy;
    (g) supervision or coaching of psychologists, psychology students or any allied health services; and
    (h) welfare services or any allied health services necessary to implement to above services.
  • The NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal is the appropriate review body.

The decision is available at NSW Caselaw.

Further Information

For further information, contact the Executive Officer of the Health Care Complaints Commission, on 9219 7444 or send an email to media@hccc.nsw.gov.au.

The information in this media release is correct at the time of publication. Orders may change; for example, conditions may no longer apply. For current information regarding the status of a registered health practitioner, including any conditions that currently apply, please check the National Register at www.ahpra.gov.au.