20 May 2020
The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (Ahpra) has welcomed an immediate registration cancellation and long term practise ban for an Adelaide doctor following multiple findings of breaches of professional boundaries and sexual misconduct.
Yesterday the South Australian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (the Tribunal) found Dr Mario Athinodorou’s behaviour amounted to professional misconduct, cancelled his registration immediately and disqualified him from applying for registration for 13 years. The Tribunal also banned the doctor from providing some other types of health services to female patients for 13 years.
The 13 year ban is one of the highest ever for a health practitioner. Dr Athinodorou has been suspended from practice since 19 August 2019.
The Presiding Member of the Tribunal noted that Dr Athinodorou’s behaviour had brought the profession into dispute, was substantially below the standard expected and was inconsistent with the fitness and propriety required of a medical professional. She noted that he had shown an “alarming lack of insight into his conduct and the effect his conduct has had on his young female patients.”
Ahpra CEO Martin Fletcher said, ‘This is an important outcome in a very significant case. People trust their registered health practitioners and behaviour like this is totally unacceptable. We hope the decision provides some closure for the women who have suffered from his actions.’
Medical Board of Australia Chair, Dr Anne Tonkin, said, ‘Sexual boundary violations are a gross breach of patients’ trust and never acceptable.’
Dr Tonkin thanked the brave women who raised their concerns with the Board and said their courage had helped keep other patients safe.
Anyone with concerns about a registered health practitioner practitioner can check the register of practitioners maintained by Ahpra, make a notification or contact Ahpra on 1300 419 495.