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WA general practitioner banned for sexual assault

17 May 2022

Western Australian general practitioner has been banned from re-applying for registration for seven and a half years, after being convicted by a jury of sexually assaulting a patient.

Trigger warning: Some readers may find this article distressing. If you are experiencing distress, please contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 for confidential help. If you are a medical practitioner, you can also visit the drs4drs website.

Key points:

• In June 2019, Dr Dayananda was found guilty by a jury of sexually assaulting a female patient

• Following the conviction, the Medical Board of Australia suspended Dr Dayananda, and accepted the surrender of his registration in March 2022

• On 8 April, the State Administrative Tribunal banned Dr Dayananda from re-applying for registration for seven and a half years

On 12 June 2019, Dr Priyantha Dayananda was found guilty by a jury in the District Court of Western Australia of sexually assaulting a female patient in 2017 when he was working as a surgical registrar.

Dr Dayananda appealed the conviction, but this was dismissed by the Supreme Court of Western Australia on 29 January 2021.

Following the conviction, on 24 June 2019, the Medical Board of Australia (the Board) took immediate action to suspend Dr Dayananda’s registration. Dr Dayananda had previously had conditions on his registration prohibiting him from treating female patients.

In November 2021, following the conclusion of the criminal action, the Board referred Dr Dayananda to the State Administrative Tribunal (the tribunal) for professional misconduct.

Dr Dayananda surrendered his registration on 28 March 2022. While he denied the allegations, he admitted the fact of his conviction to the tribunal.

In reaching its determination, the tribunal took into account the fact that Dr Dayananda had no prior disciplinary history in his almost 20 year career, and that the conduct was considered out of character. It also noted that he had undertaken further education with respect to medical ethics, professional boundaries and sexual offences.

However, the tribunal also found that in addition to the sexual assault, Dr Dayananda had made inappropriate sexual comments to, and sexual contact with, the patient, including 19 calls to her mobile number.

On 8 April 2022, the tribunal found that Dr Dayananda had met the threshold of professional misconduct. It disqualified him from applying for re-registration for seven and a half years, prohibited him from providing any health service until he re-registers, and ordered he pay $10,000 toward the Board’s costs.

The Tribunal’s full decision is available here: MEDICAL BOARD OF AUSTRALIA and DAYANANDA [2021] VR 88 - eCourts Portal (justice.wa.gov.au)

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Page reviewed 17/05/2022