Was there a sexual relationship?
This case shows how the Commission can obtain and use medical records and other documents in the investigation of a complaint.
A female patient claimed that her general practitioner, whom she had been consulting for over five years, had improperly engaged in a personal relationship with her. She alleged they had met regularly for six months and had sex at the doctor’s surgery and at her home.
The Commission withheld a notification of the complaint to the doctor until it had obtained a detailed statement from the woman. The Commission then required the doctor to provide copies of the woman’s medical records, together with a response to her allegations.
The doctor’s records revealed that, at the time the woman claimed the relationship had begun, the doctor had noted that the woman was showing signs of forming an attachment to him. He noted that he had referred her to another doctor in the practice. Records from the practice showed that she had been seen by other doctors there, and Medicare records also confirmed this.
In addition, the doctor provided evidence that he had been sick and off work for most of the period during which the woman claimed to have been seeing him. The doctor also provided evidence that, for some of that period, he was overseas on a holiday with his family.
The Commission found that the documentary evidence clearly supported the doctor’s version of events, and closed the case.