A SENIOR Queensland Health psychiatrist faces the sack after he filmed himself having sex with a vulnerable patient in New Zealand then paid her large sums of hush money.
The Australian regulator knew about the lurid claims against Dr Manilall Maharajh almost a year ago, when it banned him from treating women “without a chaperone present at all times”.
But his Queensland bosses only moved to suspend him last week after he was struck off by NZ authorities, who found him “unfit” for psychiatry.
They claim they knew nothing of the grave allegations until the damning findings became public last month.
The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency slapped its restrictions on Dr Maharajh – who was licensed to practice in Australia – after being briefed by NZ authorities last December.
Caboolture and Redcliffe Hospitals were told Dr Maharajh – their employee since 2011 and staff specialist psychiatrist since January 2012 – could no longer treat women alone.
But they were “not made aware of the allegations against the doctor when AHPRA imposed the restrictions”, a Caboolture Hospital spokeswoman said.
No complaints against Dr Maharajh had been made by patients or colleagues at either hospital, the spokeswoman said.
Dr Maharajh moved to Australia five years ago, still in a secret affair with a depressed and suicidal young woman he had treated in NZ.
When Queensland Health hired him, the NZ Health and Disability Commissioner had already investigated a complaint from his former patient.
The psychiatrist tried to stymie the probe by paying the woman $35,000 to withdraw her complaint, then accused her of blackmail by making up the sex claims.
However, the NZ Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal ruled on November 12 that Dr Maharajh had exploited the anxieties of the young woman, a virgin, “for his own sexual gratification”.