A senior surgeon who works for the Metro North Hospital and Health Service in Brisbane has been suspended, after a series of sexual harassment allegations against him were made public.
Doctor William Braun, who worked as a bariatric surgeon at a number of private and public hospitals across the north side of Brisbane, will not return to work until the completion of an investigation into his workplace conduct.
Yesterday it was revealed that multiple complaints had been made about Doctor Braun’s personal and professional behaviour, including allegations of harassment, bullying and medical incompetence.
The complaints were contained in nine letters which were tabled in state parliament by the LNP opposition health spokesperson.
In one incident, Doctor Bruan is accused of putting his hands “between the buttocks” of a nurse.
He is also alleged to have texted the same woman badgering her with requests for sex, in addition to another incident where he allegedly asked her to give him oral sex in an operating theatre.
A whistleblower claimed that when Doctor Bruan found out that a colleague was having fertility issues, he repeatedly made derogatory comments to her like, “you’re too fat to get pregnant.”
Another worker claimed that Doctor Bruan had whispered in their ear, “You operate like a retard, don’t you?”
Doctor Bruan is also accused of medical negligence, with a colleague claiming that they had to manage two patients with serious complications after botched elective surgery conducted by the surgeon.
Metro North HHS refuses to comment
A spokesperson for the Metro North HHS has refused to make any comment about the investigation, other than to confirm it had suspended a member of staff over the allegations raised.
“Sexual harassment in our health service is completely unacceptable and we actively encourage and support any staff to report any incidents,” the spokesperson said.
“Our Metro North integrity unit conducts thorough investigations and where required, these matters are dealt with through the relevant industrial framework or referred to the Queensland Police Service.”
Sexual harassment is unlawful
Miles Heffernan, Litigation Director at Discrimination Claims, reminded all workers that sexual harassment is unlawful.
“Sexual harassment is any conduct that is sexual in nature, that is unwelcome, and that a reasonable person would consider could offend, humiliate or intimidate,” he said.
“It is unlawful, and those who engage in such behaviour in the workplace can expect to lose their job.
“Ultimately, it is the employer who is responsible for providing a safe working environment for their employees, so if sexual harassment happens in the workplace, then the employer is vicariously liable, and they are the ones who end up writing the big cheques for compensation to the victims.”
If you have experienced sexual harassment, you may be entitled to compensation.
For help and advice, please call our team at Discrimination Claims on
1300 853 837
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