9News National
February 27, 2014

Psychiatrist Ong Ming Tan Sydney Northside Clinic

Psychiatrist Ong Ming Tan Assaulted Patients at Sydney’s Northside Clinic, a teaching hospital for the University of Sydney

Former psychiatrist Ong Ming Tan had three rules he drummed home to his patients: honesty, confidentiality and speaking up when one is pissed off.

The disgraced Sydney practitioner manipulated these principles and left four women deeply affected, a court has heard.

Tan has pleaded guilty to four charges of aggravated indecent assault against patients.

In a sentence hearing on Thursday, Tan’s victims emotionally recounted the effect his behaviour had had on their lives.

The women had been patients at a clinic in Sydney’s north and each one of them spoke about Tan’s three rules.

In her victim impact statement, one woman said the doctor destroyed the concept of honesty, while another said he used confidentiality to ensure she did not speak about his treatment.

One woman said Tan told her: “My dear girl, you should know I hear everything and if you don’t tell me I will spank you. You are a naughty girl.”

She told Downing Centre District Court that Tan’s control turned her into a helpless child, and as a doctor, he betrayed her in the worst possible way.

Another woman was supported by a friend while, through a quivering voice, she recounted her experience to a crowded court.

The woman, who was treated for an eating disorder, said she saw Tan as her last hope to beat the illness.

“He required I walk away from everything and everyone – these were his terms,” she said.

She said that on her first appointment with Tan, the doctor asked her sexual questions, including whether she had had sex with a woman.

As time went on, she said she ended most of her relationships, including with her parents, on Tan’s advice.

“I felt terrible that I pushed them away, but by this time I was under his spell,” she said through tears.

She said Tan put his hand up her dress and when she tried to stop him, he told her to stop acting like a child.

“I can say 100 per cent I am still sick today because of Dr Tan’s actions,” she said.

“Dr Tan robbed me of my will to live.”

Tan kept his head down as the victims gave their accounts, sometimes biting his lip as the women struggled to recite their memories.

Tan will be sentenced at a later date.