Dr Ian De Saxe – Stage 1 - Professional misconduct and interim suspension

21 Sep 2017

The Commission prosecuted complaints against Dr Ian De Saxe, a psychiatrist, before the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (‘the Tribunal’).  The alleged conduct occurred in 2010-2011 and involved patients Dr De Saxe saw as a Visiting Medical Officer at Mosman Private Hospital and as a consultant psychiatrist in his private rooms at Lindfield and The Rocks.

The complaints alleged that Dr De Saxe had engaged in the following conduct:

  • Breached professional boundaries with three male patients, all of whom he was treating for serious psychiatric issues
  • Engaged in sexual acts with Patient A in his private rooms, including engaging in sexual intercourse
  • Inappropriately massaged Patient B’s legs during a treatment session and made inappropriate comments
  • Made inappropriate comments to Patient C, who had been charged with child sex offences involving a 15 year old male
  • Offered to lie for Patient C in a report to the court for the purpose of his criminal proceedings
  • Invited Patient C to engage in a sexual act during a treatment session
  • Inappropriately prescribed drugs of addiction to Patient A without an authority
  • Inappropriately self-prescribed medications including benzodiazepines
  • Failed to provide adequate care and management for Patient C during his inpatient treatment as a psychiatric patient
  • Failed to keep adequate patient records

Dr De Saxe admitted the Conduct involving Patients A and B, his self-prescribing and inadequate record keeping.

Dr De Saxe denied the conduct in relation to Patient C.

Patient C gave evidence in the Tribunal proceedings via video link.

The Commission’s expert and Dr De Saxe also gave evidence before the Tribunal, in person.

Stage 1 Decision

On 12 September 2017, the Tribunal found the complaints against Dr De Saxe proven, finding him guilty of both unsatisfactory professional conduct and professional misconduct.

In its written reasons, the Tribunal stated that it found Patient C to be a credible witness. The Tribunal rejected Dr De Saxe’s evidence, including his denials that he had offered to lie for Patient C in a report to the court and had invited Patient C to perform a sexual act on him.

NCAT made an interim order imposing a suspension of Dr De Saxe’s registration as a medical practitioner, effective as of 12 September 2017, pending final orders being made. 

Further Information

The stage 1 decision is available at NSW Caselaw

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.