Hastings Doctor Jailed For Drugging, Indecently Assaulting Patients. And There’s a “Concerning Shortage” of Senior Doctors in Hawke’s Bay

Do no harm?

New Zealand’s health system has often been described as being on a par with that of a developing country – chronically under funded and seriously under resourced. Unfortunately, the news about a recent case involving a doctor indecently assaulting his patients will do little to repair that damaged reputation.

This from the NZ Herald:

A disgraced Hawke’s Bay doctor who stupefied and indecently assaulted his patients has been jailed for five years.

David Kang Huat Lim, 42, stood trial in the Napier District Court in May this year charged with five counts of stupefying and eight of indecent assault.

He used a sedative, Midazolam, on four male patients so he could assault them while working as a GP at The Doctors in Hastings in 2014

He was found guilty of five charges each of stupefying and indecent assault, and not guilty of three counts of indecent assault.

This morning Judge Geoff Rea sentenced him to five years’ imprisonment…read on

Doctor Lim has lived in Hawke’s Bay for more than ten years and had been practicing as a GP, goodness knows how many patients he may have assaulted during that time.

It appears that police only made inquiries after the mother of one of the doctor’s victims made a complaint to them. The man, who is now 18 (he would have been around 15 at the time of the assault?) said on the witness stand that he felt “disgusted” by the attack.

His mother said she had heard her son cry out “You better not be touching my b****!” while he was behind a drawn curtain with the doctor.

Its hard to believe that other staff in the practice didn’t know what was going on in the treatment rooms. We know of only one nurse that was called on to give evidence.

Note, it appears that it was only when a parent (not a staff member?) complained to police that a formal investigation was carried out. You may wonder if staff had suspicions about what was going on, and what their motives were for keeping quiet? Did it have anything to do with the “chronic shortage” of doctors across the country?

Reports from the trial in May stated that The Crown said

“Lim sedated four men, aged between 18 and 30, so he could sexually assault them. It is alleged he administered the sedative Midazolam for minor injuries that did not require sedation, and that he told their family members and nurses that he needed to treat them alone…

The jury they had heard from one of the men’s mothers and a nurse who described finding the youngest victim with his pants off, despite being treated for a dislocated finger…source

The Doctors Hastings general manager Janine Jensen “declined to comment” to the NZ Herald.

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