qld surgeon suspended over accusations

Qld surgeon suspended over accusations

Australia

A Brisbane surgeon accused of professional negligence and asking his female colleagues for sexual favours has been suspended.

Health officials are investigating claims of sexual and professional misconduct in a dossier of letters written by medical practitioners identifying Dr William Braun and tabled in parliament this week.

The documents were either anonymous or the names of their authors were redacted.

A spokesperson for the Metro North Hospital and Health Service said on Thursday they could not comment on active investigations, but confirmed one of its staff members had been suspended.

Comment has been sought from Dr Braun, who practised at a number of public and private hospitals.

The letters were made public by Liberal National Party MP Ros Bates, who says something must be done after government inaction on allegations dating back years.

“We have basically been flooded with further allegations from doctors over the last couple of days,” she told reporters on Thursday.

Ms Bates said clinicians, nurses and drug company representatives had taken complaints to government agencies and regulatory bodies but were ignored.

She said they feared they would lose their jobs if they spoke out.

“They were frustrated, they were scared to actually make allegations, because they had been making them and have gone nowhere at all,” she said.

One practitioner writes of junior female doctors being barred by Queensland health officials and the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons from training with Dr Braun at a Brisbane hospital.

This was done “for fear of exposing any more female junior surgical trainees to his sexual misconduct,” their letter says.

The letters detail claims some of his patients needed life-saving surgery after complications stemming from procedures he carried out.

They also allege Dr Braun inappropriately touched female colleagues and invited them to engage in sex acts with him.

Another says he phoned his peers while intoxicated in the middle of the night and verbally abused them, told women they wouldn’t become good surgeons because of their gender and physically intimidated staff.

“On one occasion he lowered his pants in an operating theatre in front of nurses and medical equipment representatives and then stood in his underwear while another man proceeded to measure his waist and legs for a suit fitting,” one of the documents says.

The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons has previously received anonymous complaints against Dr Braun, but says it couldn’t pursue them because of a lack of evidence.