Dr “DWF” – Not a suitable person – Registration cancelled

7 June 2019

The Health Care Complaints Commission prosecuted a complaint against Dr ‘DWF’, a specialist medical practitioner, before the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (‘the Tribunal’). The complaint alleged that the practitioner had been convicted of criminal offences in New South Wales and was unsuitable to be a medical practitioner because of the circumstances of the offences. In October 2015 the practitioner was convicted of:
• Use of an intoxicating substance to commit an indictable offence, and
• Assault with act of indecency.

In July 2017 the practitioner was again convicted of  Assault with act of indecency for a separate occasion.

The circumstances of the offences included that:
• In November 2013 the practitioner had invited Person A, a junior doctor whom he was mentoring, over to his home for dinner, where without her knowledge he placed a tablet of Ativan in her drink, making her feel confused and sleepy, then told her to lie down, massaged her back, removed articles of Person A’s clothing and placed his mouth on her breast.
• In December 2012 the practitioner took Person B, the daughter of his patient, out for lunch and provided her with champagne following which he took her into a closed consultation room and massaged her shoulders, undid her dress so that her chest and bra were exposed, then offered her a breast examination during which he touched Person B’s breast inappropriately including with his mouth. Following the examination, the practitioner then kissed Person B inappropriately.

The practitioner admitted the complaints against him and consented to an order cancelling his registration.

In its decision published on 23 May 2019, the Tribunal found the complaint proven.  The Tribunal made an order cancelling Dr DFW’s registration and imposed a non-review period of five years. In making those orders, the Tribunal had regard to the practitioner’s abuse of power and the fact that both victims had placed a high degree of trust in him which he manipulated into situations where they were vulnerable to his control.

Counsel for Dr DWF also made an application for a non-publication order in relation to Dr DWF’s surname.  The Tribunal considered that exceptional circumstances did exist sufficient to depart from the principles of open justice normally applicable in these cases.

The full 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.