A Cape Breton gynecologist will be suspended for 5 months and ordered to take ethics training after being found guilty of professional misconduct related to separate allegations from 2 women who were once under his care.
Dr. Manivasan Moodley must additionally pay $325,000 over 5 years through installments of $5,000 per month.
The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia stated that the money will go toward the costs of an investigation and hearing into Moodley’s actions.
Moodley began working in the obstetrics and gynecology department at the Cape Breton Regional Hospital in Sydney in Mar. 2017. Allegations around his behavior came out later that fall.
“This is a case where Dr. Moodley did not respect the sexual boundaries required by the standard and asked questions and made comments of a sexual nature,” a hearing committee of the college said in a decision on sanction and costs.
Sexual and personal questions
Moodley additionally visited the workplace of one of the complainants for no medical reason, the committee said.
The women, whose names are protected by a publication prohibition, said Moodley asked them sexual and personal questions during appointments that were not relevant to their medical issues.
The committee found Moodley commented inappropriately regarding the physical appearance of one of the women.
The other female said Moodley violated patient boundaries by looking her out at her workplace.
While the committee found Moodley didn’t engage in improper physical touching, it said his actions were serious.
Monitor to be assigned
Moodley’s suspension is set to start at a time agreed upon by the institution. He must additionally complete ethics training before returning to his practice.
“The purpose of a suspension is not to punish Dr. Moodley, but to correct his behaviour and assure the public that the medical profession takes this misconduct seriously and does not minimize or excuse the crossing of sexual boundaries in the physician-patient relationship,” the committee stated.
After his suspension, Moodley must work under a monitor or an approved individual to ensure he is practicing as per the restrictions placed upon his license.
The monitor must have an unobstructed perspective of any procedure performed by Moodley, and this requirement must be featured on signs posted in his waiting and examination rooms.
Victim impact statement
In a victim impact statement, one of the women said she finds it uncomfortable to go to the hospital and avoids doing so as much as possible. She said her experience with Moodley is like no other doctor’s appointment can match.
The other female did not offer a statement, however, testified she experienced feelings of helplessness months after her appointment with Moodley.
For his part, Moodley initially told the hearing committee he did not support the use of a practice monitor. As a fee-for-service physician, Moodley said the signposting and publicly would negatively impact his patient load.
He also argued that his fine should be reduced on the basis of lost income because of the suspension. However, the hearing committee found Moodley did not offer evidence of his financial situation.