Patient says doctor groped her following breast examination

A FEMALE patient claims a Mackay district doctor groped her after a breast examination but he says she was just angry he could no longer bulk bill her.

The woman has accused the doctor of sexually assaulting her during a consultation.

She'd attended the medical centre on April 3 last year for two prescriptions.

During the visit the doctor performed a follow-up breast examination as the woman had mentioned at an earlier consultation concerns in relation to breast cancer.

However Crown prosecutor Matthew Hynes alleged the doctor stepped outside the realms of a medical procedure and "took advantage of a patient".

The woman, who'd been lying down during the exam, sat up.

She said the doctor was behind her and he'd put his hand on her right hip and run it up her side to her breast.

She said he then placed her own hand over her breast and put his hand on top of her hand before asking, "can I kiss you?" Mr Hynes said.

The woman said she said "no" and the doctor apologised and said, "sorry, sometimes you get weird feelings".

Shortly after leaving the centre, the woman received two phone calls from the doctor offering further apologies.

The doctor has pleaded not guilty to unlawful and indecent assault.

The Daily Mercury has chosen not to name the defendant, who is still employed by the centre, at this stage of the proceedings.

He said he didn't give her a breast exam or ask to kiss her.

He said he'd called her because she left a script at the centre. The doctor said the girl was upset because he said she could no longer be bulk billed.

The District Court in Mackay was closed as the woman, who was present, gave evidence. She cannot be named for legal reasons.

One prosecution witness, who is a senior medical receptionist at the medical centre, said some patients had taken the issue of bulk billing to heart.

When questioned by defence barrister Bronwyn Hartigan, for Morton Lawyers, the woman said some patients who were in the habit of being bulk billed had become angry when they suddenly had to start paying.

Judge Hugh Botting told the four-man, eight-woman jury to "try to keep an open mind" until they'd heard all evidence. The trial continues today.



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