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Indian doc in NZ fired for misconduct

india Updated: Sep 01, 2006 14:39 IST
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An Indian doctor in New Zealand has been suspended from practicing, on charges of professional misconduct.

New Zealand's Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal has found Dr Maheshkumar Bhikhubhai Patel guilty of indulging in a sexual relationship with a patient.

He has been slapped a fine of NZ$10,000 and has been ordered to comply with several other conditions, according to reports.

"Dr Patel breached his patient's trust. She feels as though she was taken advantage of and, while at the time she was a willing participant, in retrospect now considers that this was wrong," Mike Heron, the woman's lawyer, was quoted as telling the tribunal.

"She is now left having to accept the breakdown in her relationship (with her husband) and the impact this has had on her family."

Patel's lawyer told the tribunal that Patel blew the whistle on himself, reporting the matter voluntarily to the clinic's chief executive. He also voluntarily paid the woman NZ$5,000 to assist with costs incurred as part of the "fallout".

The relationship began in July 2004, when the woman, who has not been named, was suffering from depression and stared consulting the 44-year-old general practitioner.

It ended when Patel resigned from clinical work in May last year, shifting to a management position in an Auckland clinic and transferred the woman's medical notes to another doctor.

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