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GP banned from practising after sexually touching patient, having affair with another

By AAP - 9 News - 11.04.2024 - [AUSTRALIA] - [Fady Malak] A doctor has been barred from practising for five years after sexually touching one of his patients and having an affair with another.

Evidence against Fady Malak showed a pattern of professional misconduct and inappropriate sexual behaviour with his patients, a tribunal found.

In 2021, Malak pleaded guilty in the Gosford Local Court to two counts of aggravated sexual touching of a person without consent. The court was told he had rubbed a crying patient's buttocks and kissed her neck before asking, "are you crying, sookie baby?", and then continuing to touch her inappropriately.

The Health Care Complaints Commission sought for the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal to revoke his licence to practice. A judgement, headed by Acting District Court Judge Ian Coleman, released today found Malak was guilty of professional misconduct, and prohibited him from practising for five years.

Malak posed a "substantial risk to the health of members of the public" and he couldn't be trusted not to act appropriately, the tribunal wrote. The GP would need a "lengthy period to engage in meaningful reflection ... relevant treatment/therapy and genuine insight" into his wrongdoings.

The incident took place in October 2020 at a clinic in the Central Coast region of NSW. He was charged in January 2021. Malak assured the court in one hearing that his behaviour with the patient was "one isolated incident", the tribunal noted, but continued a sexual relationship with another patient afterwards.

The tribunal echoed the commission's earlier statement that the doctor's wrongdoings reflected a breach of conduct as a person with authority and duty of care. Malak was sentenced to a 14-month community corrections order by the Gosford Local Court in 2021.

The tribunal judgment delivered today found the doctor repeatedly engaged in grooming behaviour targeting women in vulnerable positions. Reports shown in a 2021 court hearing noted Malak had told a psychiatrist he would never have a sexual relationship with a patient, and that any of the alleged behaviour was not in line with his character. He also said he would never have sexual intercourse with someone in his place of work at the clinic.

The tribunal judgment said an extramarital affair with one of his patients took place between 2019 and 2021, in which he had sex with her in his office on three occasions. If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this article, you can contact Dignity4Patients, whose helpline is open Monday to Thursday 10am to 4pm.

 
 

Dignity4Patients Commentary: A healthcare professional that "repeatedly engaged in #Grooming behaviour" and is "substantial risk to the health of the public" due to their inappropriate #SexualBehaviour, are they really fit to return to their profession after a short break? #PatientFirst #PatientProtection

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