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CPSA appeal against Dr. Keith Martin dismissed
In February 2021, a CPSA Hearing Tribunal found Dr. Keith Martin, a family physician from Slave Lake, not guilty of unprofessional conduct. A Council review panel upheld that decision in December after CPSA’s Complaints Director appealed the Tribunal’s finding of not guilty.
Dr. Martin was accused of striking a patient on the head in 2013, while she was being assessed and treated in the emergency room. The Tribunal concluded that while the patient truly believed she was struck by Dr. Martin, the evidence provided was not reliable. Two witnesses who described seeing Dr. Martin strike the patient were also found to be credible, but not reliable. Accordingly, the Tribunal concluded the charge had not been proven.
CPSA’s Complaints Director appealed the Tribunal’s finding of not guilty on the basis that the Tribunal erred in its application of the standard of proof on a balance of probabilities.
After hearing from legal counsel for both CPSA’s Complaints Director and Dr. Martin, and carefully reviewing the Hearing Tribunal’s decision, the panel found that the Tribunal did not err in the application of the standard of proof and dismissed the appeal. The panel’s full decision can be reviewed on CPSA’s website.
CPSA has a responsibility to investigate complaints to ensure physicians are providing ethical, competent care that meets our standards. If a complaint progresses to a hearing, it is important the process is fair with all evidence taken into account. Both parties (the physician and CPSA) have the right to appeal a disciplinary decision under Section 87 of the Health Professions Act, if they feel the Hearing Tribunal erred in their original decision.
Dr. Efe Michael Ovueni sanctioned by CPSA Hearing Tribunal
Dr. Efe Michael Ovueni, a general practitioner from Calgary, was sanctioned for unprofessional conduct by a CPSA Hearing Tribunal.
It was alleged that in January 2020, Dr. Ovueni hugged and air-kissed a member of his medical office staff without her consent. Dr. Ovueni admitted to the allegation and a joint submission on sanction was accepted by the Hearing Tribunal.
The Tribunal ordered the following:
- Ovueni will receive a reprimand.
- Ovueni’s practice permit is suspended for three months, with two weeks served and two-and-a-half months held in abeyance on the condition that no further boundary concerns are brought forward to CPSA.
- Ovueni must complete and unconditionally pass the Center for Personalized Education for Physicians Probe Course.
- Ovueni must also pay a fine of $3,000 and is responsible for the full cost of the investigation and hearing (total still to be determined).
As the complainant in this case was not a patient, Dr. Ovueni’s conduct does not meet the definition of sexual misconduct under the Health Professions Act. The full decision can be reviewed on CPSA’s website.
Just as patients have a right to feel safe when visiting their physicians, colleagues and clinic staff also have a right to that same safety and respect in the workplace. All regulated members must comply with the Canadian Medical Association’s Code of Ethics & Professionalism, which states colleagues must be treated with dignity and as persons worthy of respect. Physicians are leaders in the healthcare community and have a responsibility to ensure appropriate boundaries are maintained in all aspects of their practice.
Dr. Nirupa Srikisson sanctioned for unprofessional conduct
After admitting to charges of unprofessional conduct, general practitioner Dr. Nirupa Srikisson of Drayton Valley was sanctioned by a CPSA Hearing Tribunal.
The Hearing Tribunal heard that Dr. Srikisson failed to arrange for timely diagnostic imaging for a patient, did not create an adequate record for the patient and later made changes to the record without clearly noting the changes were late entries.
The Tribunal accepted a joint submission on sanction and ordered Dr. Srikisson to undergo an Individual Practice Review with CPSA and implement any changes recommended from the review. Dr. Srikisson has already completed a course on medical record keeping and must also complete a course on ethics and boundaries. She is also responsible for 60 per cent of costs for the investigation and hearing (total still to be determined). The full written decision can be reviewed on CPSA’s website.
It is important to arrange for any diagnostic tests patients need in a timely manner so potential follow-up care or interventions are not delayed. Keeping detailed patient records is also key, to ensure proper continuity of care. We encourage all physicians and physician assistants to review our standards on Continuity of Care and Patient Record Content. CPSA is happy to answer any questions you may have around our standards, to help ensure you have the support and tools necessary to provide quality patient care.
Dr. May Mones sanctioned by CPSA Hearing Tribunal
Dr. May Mones, a pediatrician from Calgary, was sanctioned by a CPSA Hearing Tribunal for practising medicine without a valid practice permit, and for failing to respond to correspondence from CPSA.
In 2020, Dr. Mones did not complete her annual Renewal Information Form (RIF), resulting in the cancellation of her practice permit and registration with CPSA. When CPSA learned Dr. Mones was continuing to practise medicine without a valid practice permit, a complaint was initiated. Dr. Mones ultimately completed her RIF and her practice permit was reinstated, however she failed to respond to CPSA about the complaint.
Dr. Mones admitted to the unprofessional conduct and the Hearing Tribunal ordered that she receive a reprimand, participate in CPSA’s Physician Health Monitoring Program, and be responsible for the full cost of the investigation and hearing (final costs still to be determined). The full written decision can be reviewed on CPSA’s website.
While many people are busy and struggle to keep on top of emails, responding to communication from their regulator is an expectation of all healthcare professionals. Failing to do so can result in overlooking crucial information about topics like Annual Renewal, updated standards or legislation, Professional Conduct matters and Continuing Competence. We encourage all physicians to check their email and online Portal regularly to avoid missing deadlines and important notices.