Psychiatrist who filmed sex with patient given Coast job

A PSYCHIATRIST who had a sexual relationship with a vulnerable patient, and paid her tens of thousands of dollars to keep quiet about it landed a job at a Sunshine Coast hospital.

The doctor was given work at Caboolture and Redcliffe hospitals despite being stripped of his registration and ordered to pay more than $70,000.

Dr Manilall Maharajh was found guilty of professional misconduct by the Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal in September, the New Zealand Herald reported.

The tribunal's director of proceedings, Aaron Martin, said Dr Maharajh was unfit to practise as a psychiatrist, and would be a danger to the public if he continued to do so.

A hearing in August heard allegations he had filmed himself having sex with the patient, Ms Y.

Dr Maharajh entered into a relationship with the woman in 2008.

During their relationship, he also prescribed an anti-depressant drug to Ms Y without "adequate clinical justification".

Later, she asked him for compensation for "injury to her feelings and loss she had suffered".

Instead of following protocols, Dr Maharajh began paying Ms Y. The payments continued even after she laid a complaint with the Health and Disability Commissioner.

The tribunal also found Dr Maharajh had encouraged Ms Y to mislead the Health and Disability Commissioner about the nature of their relationship.

The tribunal cancelled Dr Maharajh's registration and ordered him to pay $27,000 to the Medical Council and $46,000 to the Health and Disability Commissioner.

According to a News Corp report, the Australian regulator knew about the lurid claims against Dr Maharajh almost a year ago, when it banned him from treating women "without a chaperone present at all times".

But his Queensland bosses only moved to suspend him last week after he was struck off by NZ authorities, who found him "unfit" for psychiatry.

They claim they knew nothing of the grave allegations until the damning findings became public last month.

The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency slapped its restrictions on Dr Maharajh - who was licensed to practice in Australia - after being briefed by NZ authorities last December.

Caboolture and Redcliffe Hospitals were told Dr Maharajh - their employee since 2011 and staff specialist psychiatrist since January 2012 - could no longer treat women alone.

No complaints against Dr Maharajh had been made by patients or colleagues at either hospital, a Caboolture hospital spokeswoman told News Corp.


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