A PERTH doctor deregistered for sexual misconduct with a female patient and repeatedly lying about it has been ordered by the State Administrative Tribunal to pay $55,000 in costs to the Medical Board.
The Board alleged between June 2010 and November 18, 2013, Dr Vipin Lal failed to maintain proper professional boundaries with the patient including allowing her to perform oral sex on him at the Trappers Drive Medical Centre in Woodvale.
At the hearing on December 3, 2018, counsel for Dr Lal stated he was a ‘broken and crashed man’ who now worked as an Uber driver and for Transperth as a bus driver.
“The loss of dignity and in the face of a very proud extended family, and in the face of his children, that is indeed a very significant cross to bear, much of which, at the end of the day, has been protracted by matters that weren’t his fault,” counsel said.
SAT noted while the personal circumstances of Dr Lal were considered it had no bearing on the decision of the Tribunal when awarding costs.
“We note that Dr Lal is suffering financial hardship and we accept that Dr Lal’s family has had to endure some public attention that a matter of this nature will attract,” the Tribunal said.
“However, as we have already said, this is a necessarily secondary consideration.
“The Tribunal’s fundamental obligation is to protect the public interest.”
Dr Lal said he was seeking treatment from a psychologist and that his ‘rehabilitation is well and truly entrenched’.
He was removed from the register of medical practitioners in January 2017 and barred from reapplying for a period of four years.
The verdict was delivered on March 20, 2019.