Public Statement in relation to Mr Marcus Ferguson
15 October 2019
The NSW Health Care Complaints Commission investigated a number of complaints about the conduct of Mr Marcus Ferguson, a self-employed counsellor.
The investigation found that during the course of his counselling sessions with a female client in May 2017, Mr Ferguson engaged in consensual sexual intercourse with that client.
The investigation found that Mr Ferguson breached Clause 13(1) of the Code of Conduct for unregistered health practitioners [Schedule 3, Public Health Regulation 2012] which provides:
- A health practitioner must not engage in a sexual or other close personal relationship with a client.
Taking into account Client A’s vulnerability and the serious breach of trust displayed by this health practitioner, the Commission has determined that Mr Ferguson’s conduct poses a risk to the health and safety of members of the public. The sexual interaction with Client A was deliberate and without clinical basis. The ramifications for Client A involved a greater level of vulnerability and ongoing counselling/psychiatric therapy.
The Commission therefore makes the following prohibition order:
- Mr Ferguson must not provide health services, either in paid employment or voluntarily, to any female or couple (married or de facto) that includes any female. Health Service carries the meaning given by section 4 of the Act.
- Mr Ferguson must obtain written informed consent from any male person for whom he offers shamanic healing or training.
- Mr Ferguson must abide by the Code of Conduct made under Schedule 3 of the Public Health Regulation 2012 and ensure it is on public display in his counselling practice.
The Commission has chosen not to make its Statement of Decision public on this occasion as it contains sensitive and personal information.
For further information, contact the Executive Officer of the Health Care Complaints Commission, on 9219 7444 or send an email to email@example.com.