A Nigerian doctor based in Canada, Dr. Adekunle Williams-Owolabi, has been banned from medical practice for six months after making sexual comments to patients at his clinic in Labrador West.
Owolabi’s licence was suspended and he was ordered to pay the sum of $75,000 towards the costs of holding the hearing where he was found guilty of professional misconduct towards patients.
A panel established by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Newfoundland and Labrador in St. Johns made the decision to suspend the doctor’s licence on Monday.
According to CBC News, a teacher, Arlene Johnson, who visited Owolabi’s clinic, testified that he made some sexual comments during a pelvic examination.
Johnson said that after the test, he had hugged her and whispered in her ear, “You have a beautiful clit, does your husband tell you that?”
Another complainant also testified that Owolabi made inappropriate comments while examining her pelvic.
She said Owolabi asked, “Do you like big ones or small ones?”
She noted that he made the comments when she was pregnant, undressed from the waist down and her feet in stirrups, while two female secretaries in the room watched.
The panel said that Owolabi’s inappropriate comments and touching of patients showed a lack of respect for their dignity and privacy. Therefore, it instructed him to have a chaperone present whenever he sees female patients in the next two years and after returning to medical practice.
Owolabi, who admitted to hugging one of the patients, however denied making such comments towards the woman. His lawyer, Paul Stokes, said they were disappointed in the panel for making the decision.
Although the doctor has 30 days to appeal the panel’s decision in court, Stokes said that he and his client had not decided if they would appeal the decision.
The panel established a pattern of behaviour after four former patients of Owolabi lodged the charges of professional misconduct. They testified before the tribunal that his actions ranged from making sexual comments to inappropriate touching and kissing at his clinic.
Owolabi is said to have studied in Nigeria, but he was licenced to practice.