Sex With a Patient at a Melbourne Bar – Professional Misconduct?

Melbourne GP, Dr Rizwan Sami, accused of professional misconduct allegations after he had sex with a female patient (‘the Patient’) whilst intoxicated in a Melbourne bar.

The Background

The Patient had been consulting Dr Sami since March 2017, attending 10 consultations with him. Within 4 weeks of their last consultation, Dr Sami and the Patient crossed paths at a nightclub, where they engaged in sexual intercourse. CCTV footage from the nightclub shows the pair kissing, dancing, and touching each other sexually throughout the night, before walking to the disabled bathroom together. Both parties were intoxicated.

There were conflicting accounts of the incident. The Patient stated that she identified herself to Dr Sami as his patient ‘from the outset’, the pair entered the toilet for consensual sex but claims that Dr Sami became violent and forced himself on her. Dr Sami stated that he did not recognise the woman as his patient, they engaged in consensual sex but about two minutes in, it dawned on him that she was his patient and he stopped. Dr Sami stated that it was wholly consensual.


The Patient reported the incident to various organisations including the Police and the Medical Board of Australia.
In May 2020, Dr Sami was criminally charged with rape and sexual assault over the incident, however the charges were withdrawn 3 months later, in August 2020.
The Medical Board of Australia (‘the Board’) took immediate action under sections 156(1)(a)-(e) of the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law and suspended the registration of Dr Sami. Dr Sami applied to the Board for the suspension to be revoked on the grounds that the criminal charges were withdrawn, however the Board denied Dr Sami’s application. Dr Sami then applied to VCAT for review of the Board’s decision. In May 2021, VCAT overturned the Board’s decision to suspend his registration and subsequently, Dr Sami was again registered.
The overarching matter between the Medical Board of Australia and Dr Sami was listed for hearing in September 2023. There was a four-day hearing where evidence was presented and considered by a VCAT panel.

The Outcome

On 13 December 2023, the VCAT panel found that the Board had failed to provide evidence to prove the allegations to the panel’s satisfaction. The panel considered the role of ‘excessive alcohol consumption in a noisy and largely dimly lit bar’ and held that it could not rely on anyone’s recollections of the events leading up to and during the incident.

It was held that Dr Rizwan Sami had ‘no case to answer and that no further action is to be taken in relation to this matter’.

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