How doctor accused of groping his female patients and repeatedly pushing his groin into their backs was able to keep practising medicine for another 10 years after the allegations were made
- Victorian doctor Atheer Hmood subject to multiple claims of sexual touching
- Despite complaints from nine women he was able to gain higher qualification
- He faces misconduct hearings after a tribunal backed the allegations
- Dr Hmood has denied the allegations and says his actions were purely medical
A doctor accused of groping multiple female patients and pushing his groin against them for sexual gratification over a three-year period was allowed to keep practicing and even progress in his career despite being hit with a raft of restrictions.
Victorian doctor Atheer Hmood, who worked at Geelong Hospital and was a GP in the town of Kilmore, faces professional misconduct findings after a tribunal substantiated allegations against him.
Nine female patients accused the doctor of inappropriately touching them during examinations between 2010 and late 2013 as they sought treatment for a range of conditions ranging from diabetes to rashes.
Women, some of who were just teenagers at the time of the alleged misconduct, were told to lie on their sides while Dr Hmood ‘would cup or caress’ their breasts.
A doctor who was a GP at the Kilmore Medical Practice in Victoria has been accused of inappropriate contact with female patients
Some women testified they felt him push his groin up against their buttocks and lower back and begin to make ‘rocking movements’.
‘While he had the stethoscope on my chest he had pushed his body against my a**e,’ the tribunal heard.
‘I could feel his d**k pushing into me. It was hard and against my a**e.’
Another woman testified she ‘felt the doctor rubbing and cupping my breast with a hand’ before he bolted from the room.
‘He whipped his hand out really quickly and just walked straight out of the room, there was no communication, nothing,’ the tribunal heard.
The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) ruled that in five of the cases brought against Dr Hmood by the Australian Medical Board he indulged in ‘inappropriate and unnecessary contact … for a sexual purpose’.
‘The tribunal has found some, but not all, of the allegations, are established,’ the VCAT panel ruled.
‘The matter can proceed to a hearing in relation to whether the found conduct constitutes professional misconduct, or unprofessional conduct, and what determination should be made.’
Dr Hmood has denied the allegations and says his actions were purely medical in nature and that any contact with his groin was unintentional.
In response to patient complaints, including three to police, the Australian Medical Board banned Dr Hmood in 2013 from consulting with female patients alone and required him to be supervised by another GP.
Despite this, in June 2014 he applied for fellowship to The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) and successfully completed the necessary exams in August 2022.
Dr Hmood gained his medical degree from the University of Baghdad in his native Irag in 2000, where he worked in medicine until 2007.
In Australia, he started work at the Barwon Health Service in Geelong in 2009 and worked there until June 2010 when he moved to the GP practice in Kilmore.
Patients said Dr Atheer Hmood made them lie on their sides and ‘cupped or caressed’ their breasts will others allege he put his groin into their buttocks or lower back area (stock image)
From 2015 onwards Dr Hmood had five indecent assault cases brought against him resulting from the patient complaints.
In one case the jury could not reach a verdict while in three others he was found not guilty.
A Country Court trial saw the jury discharged when a note from a previous trial of Dr Hmood was found in the jurors’ room.
Another trial was abandoned without verdict over a media report.
A spokesman for the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (Ahpra) said Dr Hmood’s restrictions remained in place while it was decided what sanctions he would face.