The Courier Mail
‘Infatuated’ psychiatrist’s costly romance
July 26, 2023
By Vanessa Marsh
A Queensland psychiatrist who became “infatuated” with a female patient half his age splashed $1.5m to impress her, buying her a house, a car, a trip to Europe and investing in her cafe.
Hemant Kumar Sharma engaged in an “appalling breach of professional obligations” when he entered into a sexual relationship with his patient whom he treated for five weeks from December 2016.
The Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal has made orders suspending Sharma from practising as a psychiatrist for three years, finding he engaged in professional misconduct in the two-year “inappropriate relationship with a vulnerable patient”.
The tribunal heard Sharma was about 50 when he met the 24-year-old patient and he “quickly failed to maintain proper professional boundaries, referring to her as his daughter, socialising with her, and giving her money and gifts”, including a $29,000 car.
“The relationship became sexual and the respondent and the patient travelled to Europe together in April 2018,” a QCAT decision said.
“They used illicit drugs together. He invested half a million dollars in a cafe and restaurant run by the patient and her partner.” Sharma, who practised in Townsville, bought a home for the patient and her family to live in and prescribed her drugs during the relationship…