Psychiatrist sacked for failing to disclose complaint
By Martin Johnston
July 26, 2016

Psychiatrist Robert Fink

Psychiatrist Robert Fink

An overseas-trained psychiatrist has been sacked by the Waikato District Health Board for failing to immediately tell it of a patient’s complaint against him in the United States.

Dr Robert Ivan Fink’s dismissal last week is the latest in a string of controversies to afflict the DHB’s mental health services.

An American psychiatrist, Fink had worked in the DHB’s adult mental health outpatient services on a locum contract since last August.

A former patient in the US made a complaint against him last November, said Derek Wright, the director of the DHB’s mental health and addiction services.

Fink had failed to tell the DHB of the complaint at the time and when in April he was told the complaint was being investigated he again failed to notify the DHB.

“The outcome of the inquiry was that the doctor should have restrictions placed on his practice [and] he then informed us of this last week,” Wright said.

Fink could not be contacted for comment yesterday…

The DHB said today it did not know which US authority had placed conditions on Fink’s practice.

“We are just responding to what Dr Fink has told us.”

Wright said no concerns had arisen in Fink’s clinical practice for the DHB.

“Dr Fink saw the vast majority of his patients in the company of another member of staff or family member. He was respected by his patients and their families and has been described as professional and appropriate in all his dealings with others.”

Referee and other usual checks were carried out when Fink was hired.

Robert Fink