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Nigerian doctor gets suspended over hugging, blowing kiss at co-worker in Canada

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Nigerian doctor based in Canada, Efe Ovueni, has been suspended from medical practice for three months for hugging and blowing a kiss at a co-worker.

The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta (CPSA) tribunal announced Ovueni’s suspension on Thursday, February 4, following the conclusion of its hearing in December 2021.

Ovueni had admitted to have carried out the act without the co-worker’s consent during the CPSA tribunal hearing.

The medical doctor had called the member of medical office staff into his office on Jan. 21, 2020, and proceeded to hug the woman four times before blowing a kiss at her.

Following the incident, the doctor sent several texts to the employee including messages of “Hope you are not mad with me?” and “I got too excited.”

The victim responded with “That’s OK, but it was going too far” which prompted an apology from the doctor followed by “Thank you for…your smile.”

The tribunal hearing determined that, since the victim was a staff member and not a patient, the doctor’s actions do not meet the criteria for sexual misconduct under the Health Professions Act.

Ovueni will be permitted to continue practising after serving two weeks of his suspension as 2.5 months of his three month suspension are being held in abeyance for a period of five years. The doctor also received a fine of $3,000 and is responsible for the undisclosed costs of the hearing and investigation.

“He shall be suspended for a period of three months, with two weeks to be served on dates acceptable to the Complaints Director and completed within six months of the date the Hearing Tribunal issues its written decision and 2.5 months held in abeyance on the condition that no further boundary concerns come to the attention of the Complaints Director and are referred to an investigation for a period of five years after the date the Hearing Tribunal issues its written decision.

“If further boundary concerns come to the attention of the Complaints Director and are referred to an investigation within five years from the date the Hearing Tribunal issues its written decision, the Complaints Director shall be at liberty to impose the remaining 2.5 months suspension on Dr. Ovueni’s practice permit

“If no further boundary concerns come to the attention of the Complaints Director and are referred to an investigation within five years from the date the Hearing Tribunal issues its written decision, the remaining 2.5 months suspension shall expire,” the tribal said.

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