Explosive sexual harassment claims about Queensland surgeon

A SURGEON who has worked across Queensland's private and public hospitals has been accused of serious malpractice and sexual harassment, with allegations dating back three years.

Opposition health spokeswoman Ros Bates outed the doctor in Parliament this afternoon, without naming him, and called for an investigation.

According to documents tabled by the LNP, the doctor has worked at hospitals including Redcliffe, Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital and St Vincent's Private Hospital Northside.

Some of the documents were not dated, while some were anonymous.

In others, names had been removed.

Ms Bates said the allegations - claims from various senior medical professionals - dated back to 2016.

"They claim that he is a rogue surgeon placing medical trainees and patients at risk," she told the House.

"They are taking the extraordinary step to speak out and they want me to speak out because they are sick of nothing being done."

Ms Bates detailed some of the allegations before the House including alleged sexual misconduct directed towards female staff members including nurses, junior medical staff and female medical equipment company representatives.

She quoted one complainant as saying: "In the last 48 hours I have been made aware of numerous examples of making inappropriate sexual remarks, touching female staff members inappropriately, engaging in sexual behaviours in front of female staff members in an operating theatre and attempting to use his power as a consultant general surgeon to coercive female staff members into sexual favours in exchange for various rewards."

Ms Bates said she had written to APRHA and the Office of the Health Ombudsman, as well as Health Minister Steven Miles and Ramsay Health.

"I am also calling on the Health Minister to ensure that these and all other claims are thoroughly investigated by the Metro North HHS integrity unit," she said.

"I am asking for a full and thorough investigation into these allegations."

In one letter that was tabled this afternoon, dated February 13, the doctor is accused of rushing procedures in order to be able to leave the hospital as soon as possible.

The letter's author went on to detail how following a surgery in 2017, performed by the doctor at a regional north Queensland hospital, a patient needed to be transferred to Redcliffe Hospital with a complication.

At the time, he was overseas and could not be contacted.

The patient had to be transferred to the RBWH because of a leak from their sleeve gastrectomy.

When he returned, he allegedly said to a staff member, "never, ever transfer one of my patients to the f------ RBWH again".

In another complaint, addressed to RBWH's executive director Dr Judy Graves in April last year, one woman allegedly suffered a complicated surgical history after being in the care of the doctor.

"Septic complications were subsequently managed at the Redcliffe Hospital and a number of endoscopic procedures were taken place then at North West Hospital," the complaint said.

This patient was then transferred to Sydney.

Another complaint was written by a consultant general surgeon and bariatric surgeon who claimed to have personally managed patients of the doctor.

The senior doctor alleged to have dealt with two patients that suffered serious complications following surgery performed by the doctor.

The doctor also claimed to have been told that one woman was inappropriately touched from behind between the buttocks by the doctor and was offered "invitations for sexual encounters" by text at night.

The doctor said they were told allegations of sexual misconduct against him were common knowledge among female general surgical trainees in Queensland, and were well known by Queensland Health, the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons of Australia and AHPRA.

They also said Queensland Health and the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons Queensland Surgical Training Board did not allow junior female doctors to undergo general surgical training at Redcliffe Hospital, following the allegations.

A Royal Australian College of Surgeons spokesperson confirmed a complaint had been made.

"RACS has noted the issue raised in the Queensland Parliament regarding (the doctor)," the spokesperson said.

"We are unable to comment on the specifics of this particular case however, we can acknowledge that we have received anonymous complaints, but were unable to take the matters further in the absence of evidence and substantiation."



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