24 Aug 2023
A Victorian tribunal has reprimanded and disqualified a medical practitioner from applying for registration for 16 years and prohibited him from providing any health service until he is granted registration, following his criminal conviction in 2020 of multiple sexual assaults and acts of incest against a child.
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In July 2020, the practitioner, identified as XOT, was sentenced in the County Court of Victoria on charges of indecent assault and incest against his daughter between 1977 and 1986. He is currently serving a 16-and-a-half-years prison sentence and will be over 80 by the time he would be eligible for parole.
The Medical Board of Australia (the Board) referred XOT to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (the tribunal) alleging that his conduct – the subject of the two criminal charges – amounted to professional misconduct.
XOT surrendered his registration two days after his arrest and indicated to the tribunal in mid-2021 that he did not want to participate in the proceedings.
The tribunal found the allegations proved and that they constituted professional misconduct, on the basis that XOT’s conduct plainly affects his suitability to practise as a doctor, and it is unprofessional conduct that is plainly substantially below the standard reasonably expected by any registered health practitioner, regardless of their level of training and experience.
The tribunal ordered that XOT be:
In considering the appropriate length of the prohibition order, the tribunal agreed with the Board’s submission that while the National Law requires disqualification to be for a specified period there are some cases where it is clear that a person will never be a fit and proper person to be re-registered, and in those instances, the sanctions should in effect be ‘career ending’.
The tribunal found that XOT had a serious lack of insight, which persisted throughout most of his practising life, and that even after his guilty plea in 2020, there was only partial insight in remorse. The tribunal considered that ‘this lack of insight suggests permanent unfitness to practise’.
Read the tribunal’s full decision on AustLII.
1 The Health Practitioner Regulation National Law, as in force in each state and territory.