Dr John Balafas – General Practitioner – Professional Misconduct and Unsatisfactory Professional Conduct - UPDATE

23 December 2021

The Health Care Complaints Commission prosecuted a complaint against Dr Balafas, a general practitioner, before the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (‘the Tribunal’). It was alleged that at the Bondi Medical Centre in 2009, Dr Balafas engaged in inappropriate behaviour of a sexual nature towards two female patients.

In its decision of December 2021, the Tribunal determined that Dr Balafas was guilty of both unsatisfactory professional conduct and professional misconduct. It found that he had conducted an internal pelvic examination of a female patient without her informed consent and engaged in sexually exploitative conduct for his own sexual gratification, noting that ‘Sexual exploitation of a patient is at the highest end of the spectrum of seriousness’. Dr Balafas also failed to keep adequate medical records with regards to her treatment. It also determined that Dr Balafas inappropriately conducted a pap smear, internal pelvic examination and breast examination on another female patient without her informed consent, and without keeping appropriate medical records.

The Tribunal will determine protective orders following a further Stage 2 hearing.

The full decision can be found here: NSW Caselaw.

In light of the proven conduct and a new patient complaint, the Tribunal published a further decision on 23 December 2021 imposing interim conditions on Dr Balafas’ registration to the effect that he not treat any female patients except in an emergency. The Tribunal stated that “Members of the public would lose confidence in the standards of ethics and competence in the medical profession unless Dr Balafas is prevented from treating any female patient pending the Stage 2 hearing.”

Further information

For further information, contact the Executive Officer of the Health Care Complaints Commission, on 02 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.

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