‘Ottawa’ Orléans Doctor Faces Disciplinary Hearing for Allegations of Sexual Abuse
An Orléans family doctor is facing a disciplinary hearing by a committee of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario later this month into allegations that he sexually abused a female patient over an 18-month period.
Atef Malak Shehata Ghali, whose primary office is at 4473 Innes Rd., is alleged to have abused the patient at the Centrepointe Family Health Clinic from December 2012 to May 2014.
According to information posted on the college’s website, Ghali allegedly made comments of a sexual nature, kissed and pressed himself against the patient and inserted his fingers into her vagina.
Because of the allegations, the college imposed practice restrictions on Ghali last July 20, to which he consented. He’s not allowed to have professional encounters with female patients of any age unless a female regulated health professional is present as a monitor.
The college also required Ghali to post signs in his waiting room and all examination or consulting rooms advising that he will not be alone with a female patient unless a practice monitor is present.
Ghali had no comment about the allegations against him Thursday when the Citizen called his Orléans office.
Ghali, who speaks Arabic and English, graduated from the Zagazig Faculty of Medicine in Egypt in 1988. After emigrating to Canada, he did postgraduate training at the University of Ottawa’s medical school from 2009 to 2012 before being certified to practise family medicine by the College of Physicians and Surgeons in July 2012 and opening his practice.
The allegations against him will be considered by the college’s disciplinary committee at a hearing May 24 in Toronto. If it upholds the allegations, another hearing would be held to determine the penalty.
Doctors who commit acts of professional misconduct face penalties ranging from fines and public reprimands to suspensions and outright revocation of their certificates of registration, meaning they can no longer practise medicine in Ontario.
The Health Professions Procedural Code provides for mandatory revocation for any one of eight sexual acts involving patients. The College of Physicians and surgeons has recommended legislative changes that would make revocation mandatory for all types of physical sexual contact between doctors and patients.
The issue of sexual abuse of patients by doctors has become an increasingly urgent one for the college. This month alone, the disciplinary committee will hear six cases, including Ghali’s, of alleged sexual abuse by Ontario doctors.
Last fall, the college started forwarding disciplinary committee decisions to police when potential criminal acts by doctors – including sexual abuse – were involved.