A Canada-based Nigerian doctor identified as Efe Ovueni has been suspended from medical practice for three months for unprofessional conduct.
The medical doctor accused of hugging and blowing a kiss at a co-worker, admitted carrying out the act without her consent during a College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta tribunal hearing.
The doctor had called the member of the medical office staff into his office on Jan. 21, 2020 and proceeded to hug the woman four times and blow a kiss at her.
Following the incident, the doctor sent several texts to the employee including messages of “Hope you are not mad with me?” and “I got too excited.”
The victim responded with “That’s OK, but it was going too far” which prompted an apology from the doctor followed by “Thank you for…your smile.”
The doctor’s suspension was announced on Thursday February 4 by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta (CPSA) tribunal, following the conclusion of its hearing in December 2021.
The tribunal hearing determined that, since the victim was a staff member and not a patient, the doctor’s actions do not meet the criteria for sexual misconduct under the Health Professions Act.
Ovueni will be permitted to continue practising after serving two weeks of his suspension as 2.5 months of his three month suspension are being held in abeyance for a period of five years. The doctor also received a fine of $3,000 and is responsible for the undisclosed costs of the hearing and investigation.
The tribunal said;
“He shall be suspended for a period of 3 months, with 2 weeks to be served on dates acceptable to the Complaints Director and completed within 6 months of the date the Hearing Tribunal issues its written decision and 2.5 months held in abeyance on the condition that no further boundary concerns come to the attention of the Complaints Director and are referred to an investigation for a period of 5 years after the date the Hearing Tribunal issues its written decision.
“If further boundary concerns come to the attention of the Complaints Director and are referred to an investigation within 5 years from the date the Hearing Tribunal issues its written decision, the Complaints Director shall be at liberty to impose the remaining 2.5 months suspension on Dr. Ovueni’s practice permit.
“If no further boundary concerns come to the attention of the Complaints Director and are referred to an investigation within 5 years from the date the Hearing Tribunal issues its written decision, the remaining 2.5-month suspension shall expire.”
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