On 12 and 13 December 2019, the Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal (the Tribunal) considered a charge laid by a Professional Conduct Committee against Dr E, medical practitioner (the Doctor).
The particulars of the charge alleged the Doctor:
- Between 22 August 2017 and 7 September 2017 the Doctor intentionally altered a letter from the University of Otago of 29 April 2014, which stated that the Doctor had “completed three of the four papers required for the Diploma”, so that it read that the Doctor had “completed all four of the papers required for the Diploma”.
- Between 22 August and about 7 September 2017, the Doctor attempted to mislead the General Medical Council (UK) (the GMC) when applying for registration by:
- Providing the falsified letter to the GMC;
- Providing her CV to the GMC knowing it incorrectly stated that the Doctor had a Postgraduate Diploma in Surgical Anatomy when she did not.
The Doctor accepted that her conduct amounted to professional misconduct and the hearing proceeded on the basis of an Agreed Summary of Facts.
The Tribunal found the facts as alleged, established both separately and cumulatively and that the Doctor’s conduct brought and was likely to bring discredit to the medical profession. The conduct was serious and warranted disciplinary sanction. There is a responsibility on practitioners to adhere to, and maintain core ethical values including trust, honesty and acting with integrity, not only in relation to the doctor/patient relationship but also in a practitioner’s dealings with others, including their own professional body.
- Suspended the Doctor’s registration for one month;
- censured the Doctor;
- fined the Doctor $3,000;
- imposed conditions on the Doctor’s practice for a period of two years following commencement of practice;
- ordered the Doctor pay 30% of costs; and
- directed publication of the decision.
The Tribunal granted the Doctor’s application for suppression of her name, the name of her practice and the town where she practises.