An Auckland doctor has been struck off for having a sexual
relationship with a vulnerable patient around 30 years his
The man, known as doctor H, was found guilty of professional
misconduct by the Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal
He had denied conducting a sexual relationship with his
patient, known as Mrs A between February and December 2010,
claiming at a HPDT hearing in March that he was instead
having an affair with her friend, Ms B, who lived in her
family home and shared her mobile phone.
However, in its decision released today, the tribunal said
doctor H's evidence was unreliable, and aspects of his
testimony "quite implausible".
"What was particularly striking about Dr H's evidence was how
little he knew about [Ms B]. He had a vague idea only of her
family circumstances; he
gave no real explanation as to what she was doing in New
Zealand," the tribunal said.
It said his transgressions amounted to "very serious
malpractice" and brought discredit to the medical profession.
"Dr H abused his position of trust as Mrs A's GP for his own
sexual gratification," it said, noting a "significant power
"She instinctively felt Dr H's behaviour was wrong and tried
to resist it. However, she was vulnerable and he exploited
The exploitation was "cynical and deliberate", it said.
The HPDT cancelled his registration as a doctor, saying:
"Public safety would not be adequately protected by an order
He was also ordered to pay costs and disbursements totalling
- Patrice Dougan of APNZ