Doctor's sexual advance costly

SARAH HARVEY
Last updated 17:46 22/11/2013

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A Tauranga psychiatrist who allegedly videoed himself having sex with a patient whose virginity he also took can be named for the first time.

Dr Manilall Maharajh, in a decision released today, has been stripped of his registration and told to pay more than $73,000 in costs after being found guilty of "multiple and severe" breaches of standards.

The Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal earlier this year found Maharajh had dealt with his patient, Ms A, in a way that amounted to professional misconduct.

Maharajh, who now lives in Australia, first cared for Ms A in 2008 at Tauranga Hospital where he was working as a locum psychiatrist.

In a report after initial consultations he concluded of Ms A that she seemed to have bypassed "a number of developmental stages to the point that she questions her own identity, sexuality and place in this world".

The tribunal said Maharajh failed to set and maintain appropriate professional boundaries by allowing a friendship to develop and then entered into a sexual relationship with Ms A while still treating her.

The pair also travelled to Australia together.

At one stage, after he learned Ms A intended to take allegations of misconduct to the tribunal he paid her $35,000 to get her to withdraw the allegations.

Maharaj also faced charges over his prescribing routine, when prescribing anti-depressants to Ms A. At September's hearing the independent director of proceedings, Aaron Martin, said Maharajh had carried out the relationship in "a clandestine manner" with regular sexual relations, wrote her intimate notes "and on one occasion took video footage of the two of them having sex".

Maharajh denied he was in the video saying: "It is definitely not my body and parts of my body which are shown in it."

He accepted that he had failed to maintain professional boundaries by allowing the woman to enter a friendship with him and his wife.

"I emphatically deny engaging in any sexual relationship or misconduct with [Ms A] as she has alleged."

The decision outlined that Maharajh's registration would be cancelled and he was to pay $27,000 to the Medical Council and $46,000 to the Health and Disability Commissioner for costs.

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