Courier Mail
Psychiatrist can’t practise in Australia until 2017 after NZ sex case
By Kay Dibben
The Courier-Mail
February 04, 2015

Psychiatrist Manilall Maharajh

Psychiatrist Manilall Maharajh

AN EX-Queensland hospital psychiatrist, who was struck off in New Zealand for having sex with a patient and paying her hush money, cannot apply for Australian registration until mid-2017.

Manilall Maharajh falsely declared he was not under investigation anywhere when applying for a job with Queensland Health in 2011, knowing of the complaint against him in New Zealand.

Mr Maharajh worked at Caboolture and Redcliffe hospitals from 2011.

UNFIT: Doc filmed sex with virgin patient

Mr Maharajh not only had an eight-month sexual relationship with the depressed patient, a virgin, but he also paid her more than $34,000 to keep silent, a New Zealand tribunal found.

The sexual relationship continued after Mr Maharajh moved to work in Tasmania in 2009, with the then former patient also moving there and living in the home of the doctor and his wife.

The tribunal, which found him guilty of professional misconduct, also found that the psychiatrist filmed himself having sex with the patient, in her 20s, although he denied it was him in the film.

The New Zealand tribunal heard Mr Maharajh paid the woman $900 to return to New Zealand, after his wife discovered the affair.

He then paid the young woman a series of payments, totalling $34,970, in an attempt to interfere with the health investigation against him and keep their relationship a secret, the tribunal found.

The NZ tribunal found the psychiatrist exploited his patient, who had suffered from anxiety, depression and had been suicidal, for his own sexual gratification.

Mr Maharajh was registered in Australia in 2008 and told Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency in November 2010 of the New Zealand ex-patient’s complaint.

But in an application to Queensland’s Metro North Health District in February 2011 he said he had never been the subject of an investigation by health bodies interstate or overseas.

From December 2012 he was under Australian conditions that he was not to treat women alone.

After he was struck off in New Zealand in November 2013 the Medical Board of Australia suspended Mr Maharajh’s registration, which then lapsed and was not renewed.

Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal yesterday found Mr Maharajh had engaged in professional misconduct, because of the New Zealand findings and his false declaration in Queensland.

Judge Alexander Horneman-Wren disqualified Mr Maharajh from reapplying for registration for three-and-a-half years, dated from November 16, 2013.

He also was ordered to pay the board’s costs of $20,000.