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Dr. Wynand Wessels receives four-month suspension

Hearing Decisions, Media Release | Posted December 6, 2021

Edmonton, AB – Grande Prairie surgeon Dr. Wynand Wessels has received a sanction from a CPSA hearing tribunal after being found guilty of unprofessional conduct earlier this year for fashioning and hanging a rope in the shape of a noose on an operating room door, which was directed at one or more of his colleagues.

The independent hearing tribunal ordered that Dr. Wessels receive a four-month suspension on his practice permit (with two weeks of that suspension remitted for an unpaid leave requested by AHS), and is responsible for 75 per cent of the costs of the merits hearing, the sanction hearing and the investigation, totaling $89,536.28.

“CPSA had asked for a longer suspension, but we must respect the independence of the hearing tribunal,” says Dr. Scott McLeod, CPSA Registrar. “It’s important not to lose sight of the fact that Dr. Wessels has been found guilty of unprofessional conduct, and a suspension demonstrates this behaviour is not appropriate or acceptable.”

During the merits hearing, the hearing tribunal found that on a balance of probabilities, there was insufficient evidence to prove Dr. Wessels was motivated by racism. However, the hearing tribunal also found that he hung the rope on the door with the intention of sending a threatening message or warning to one or more individuals.

“Whether Dr. Wessels’ intent was racist or not, CPSA believes the evidence presented demonstrated his actions were perceived by colleagues as racially-motivated and left a negative impact on many Albertans and the profession,” adds McLeod. “CPSA wants Albertans and physicians to know we take allegations like these very seriously and are committed to using this opportunity to learn and continue to improve the work that we do.”

CPSA hearing tribunal sanction decision

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