HAMILTON obstetrician and gynaecologist Cobus Cloete has had his right to practise medicine suspended by the Medical Board of Australia.
The board’s written policy on all immediate suspensions states: “The board’s decision to take immediate action and potentially suspend a practitioner’s registration is a serious and interim action to protect the health or safety of the public”.
The immediate suspension of Dr Cloete’s registration as a medical practitioner was handed down on November 18, four days after he announced his resignation from the Hamilton Base Hospital.
Dr Cloete has denied all accusations, insisting he will return to practice within months has refused to make further comment.
His position as obstetrician-gynaecologist specialist at the Hamilton Base Hospital was terminated by Western District Health Service chief executive, Jim Fletcher, on November 14 for a proven breach of the organisation’s code of conduct.
In a written statement, Mr Fletcher said: “Myself, as chief executive officer, did make the decision to cease his employment at Western District Health Service”.
“In this context he (Dr Cloete) submitted a resignation,” he wrote.
“The decision was based upon a proven breach of our code of conduct which was unacceptable.”
Mr Fletcher then informed the Medical Board of Australia of the circumstances of Dr Cloete’s departure from the hospital.
The Medical Board of Australia will now investigate whether Dr Cloete has breached its code of conduct.
The suspension means that Dr Cloete cannot legally practise medicine in any form in Australia, either as a GP or in his specialty of obstetrics and gynaecology.
Mr Fletcher said that despite the events of the past month, the hospital was grateful for the years of specialist health care that Dr Cloete had provided.
“Despite the circumstances leading to the parting of ways, Western District Health Service respects the previous contributions made by Dr Cloete and wishes him all the best for the future,” he said.
“Our task is now to focus on using our best endeavours to recruit a replacement to our Specialist O and G position.”