Tribunal: Doctor Gave Patient $5000 After Inappropriate Touching

Salim Ali
Published 2 weeks ago on 7 February, 2024
Doctor touched patient’s breast then gave her $5000, tribunal finds

In a shocking case of professional misconduct, a tribunal has found that a doctor touched a patient’s breast and then transferred her $5000 as an attempt to silence her. The incident, which has raised serious concerns about patient safety and professional ethics, involved Dr. Sathiyapal Kulanayagam, a general practitioner operating in multiple Australian states. The Civil and Administrative Tribunal heard the case after the Health Care Complaints Commission lodged a disciplinary application against Dr. Sathiyapal for his actions in 2019.

Key takeaways

  • Dr. Sathiyapal Kulanayagam found guilty of professional misconduct.
  • The incident occurred at Ropes Crossing Medical Centre in 2019.
  • Dr. Sathiyapal offered the patient $5000 to prevent her from reporting the incident.
  • The Health Care Complaints Commission initiated disciplinary proceedings.
  • Disciplinary action against Dr. Sathiyapal to be decided in the coming months.
The tribunal substantiated claims that Dr. Sathiyapal Kulanayagam touched a patient’s breast inappropriately and subsequently paid her $5000, which she accepted due to financial desperation.

Doctor’s Misconduct During Consultation Exposed

During the tribunal, it was revealed that Dr. Sathiyapal engaged in inappropriate behavior with a 24-year-old patient, including making unwelcome sexual advances and taking photographs of her without consent. The doctor’s actions culminated in him placing his hand inside the patient’s top and bra, touching her breast during a supposed panic attack. This violation of trust between doctor and patient has led to a call for stringent disciplinary measures.

Financial Desperation Influenced Patient’s Silence

The patient and her partner, facing imminent homelessness, felt compelled to accept the $5000 offered by Dr. Sathiyapal as hush money. Despite the moral dilemma, the financial aid was critical for securing housing and necessities. The patient’s partner later expressed regret for not immediately reporting the incident to the police, highlighting the complex dynamics that financial hardship can introduce into cases of misconduct.

Incident Year 2019
Doctor Dr. Sathiyapal Kulanayagam
Location Ropes Crossing Medical Centre, Sydney
Complaint Filed By Health Care Complaints Commission
Outcome Guilty of professional misconduct
Disciplinary Action Pending

Doctor touched patient’s breast then gave her $5000, tribunal finds—this headline encapsulates a grave breach of medical ethics and patient trust. The tribunal’s findings against Dr. Sathiyapal Kulanayagam serve as a stark reminder of the importance of maintaining professional boundaries in healthcare. As the medical community awaits the final decision on disciplinary actions, this case underscores the need for vigilance in protecting patients’ rights and upholding the integrity of the medical profession.


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