Doctor denies sexual relationship with patient

An Auckland doctor denies allegations he formed an inappropriate sexual relationship with a long-time female patient.

The doctor, who has interim name suppression, is facing a charge of professional misconduct over his alleged behaviour between February and December 2010.

A Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal hearing in Auckland today heard the man, referred to as doctor H, allegedly sent hundreds of text messages to the patient and called her phones, sometimes requesting sexual acts from her.

Text messages between the pair spoke of occasions when they met or planned to meet for sex, lawyer for the director of proceedings Aaron Martin said.

On other occasions the doctor is said to have discussed sexual acts and engaged in oral sex with the patient.

The woman, whose name is also suppressed, had been a patient of doctor H's for about 12 years and did not support the prosecution.

Mr Martin said doctor H was likely to claim he was instead involved in a sexual relationship with a different woman and it is she who is referred to in his communications with the patient.

Although it was possible he was in a sexual relationship with another woman, the person mentioned in text messages was doctor H's patient, Mr Martin said.

The misconduct charge alleges doctor H failed to maintain appropriate sexual boundaries and that he breached sexual boundaries in the doctor/patient relationship.

The prosecution will call four witnesses during the hearing, which is expected to last three days.

- Jimmy Ellingham of APNZ

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