Psychiatrist Manilall Maharajh loses license over sex with patient; paid her to keep quiet about it

November 27, 2013

A psychiatrist who had a sexual relationship with a vulnerable patient, and paid her tens of thousands of dollars to keep quiet about it has been stripped of his registration and ordered to pay more than $70,000.

Dr Manilall Maharajh, whose name suppression has been lifted, was found guilty of professional misconduct by the Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal in September.

The tribunal's director of proceedings, Aaron Martin, said Dr Maharajh was unfit to practise as a psychiatrist, and would be a danger to the public if he continued to do so.

A hearing in August heard allegations he had filmed himself having sex with the patient, Ms Y.

Dr Maharajh entered into a relationship with the woman in 2008.

During their relationship, he also prescribed an anti-depressant drug to Ms Y without "adequate clinical justification".

Later, she asked him for compensation for "injury to her feelings and loss she had suffered".

Instead of following protocols, Dr Maharajh began paying Ms Y. The payments continued even after she laid a complaint with the Health and Disability Commissioner.

The tribunal also found Dr Maharajh had encouraged Ms Y to mislead the Health and Disability Commissioner about the nature of their relationship.

The tribunal cancelled Dr Maharajh's registration and ordered him to pay $27,000 to the Medical Council and $46,000 to the Health and Disability Commissioner.

Dr Maharajh formerly lived in Tauranga but now works in Australia.

Source: Brendan Manning, "Psychiatrist stripped of registration," New Zealand Herald, November 23, 2013.   


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