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This article was published 11/7/2021 (320 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
A Winnipeg doctor has surrendered his licence and will not be able to practise again after two female patients levied allegations of sexual misconduct against him.
Dr. Nihad Nagy William voluntarily surrendered his registration and practice certificate with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Manitoba on July 4, according to a decision posted on the college website a day later. The surrender is permanent and irrevocable; William is not permitted to practise in any registered health profession in Canada or elsewhere.
An investigation was sparked after two women lodged complaints with the college in late 2018 and summer 2019. From the onset of the investigation, William agreed to be supervised by a chaperone while working with female patients.
According to the decision, the first woman, called ‘Patient A,’ lodged a complaint after an incident on Dec. 8, 2018, when she had seen William on a walk-in basis to refill a prescription. The woman alleged William touched her inappropriately, including "pressing his body against her body" and "pressing his face against the area between her buttocks and vagina," according to the decision.
The woman disclosed the incident to another doctor who was duty-bound to report the allegations to the college.
In a second incident on June 4, 2019, the second woman, ‘Patient B,’ said she had seen William for an examination of eczema on her elbow, and alleged the doctor proceeded to touch her inappropriately, "including putting his arms around her while pressed against her and touching her bare buttocks with his hands," the decisions read.
The woman told a family member about the incident, who then supported her in making a complaint to the clinic and the college.
"The Investigation Committee was mindful that the allegations made by Patient A and Patient B would, if proven, clearly represent serious breaches of William’s responsibility to maintain boundaries and would constitute serious sexual boundary violations," the college wrote in the decision.
"Patient A and Patient B both state they suffered significant emotional harm as a result of Dr. William’s conduct."
William denied all allegations, the college said, adding the allegations were not proven and no findings of professional misconduct had been made. William did, however, agree to give up his registration and practice certificate before a scheduled hearing on June 8, thereby avoiding the need for a hearing.
While both women were prepared to testify if needed, the decision noted the prospect of doing so "caused them anxiety, and both stated that testifying would be a traumatizing experience."
Both women told the college they were satisfied with the resolution, noting their primary concern was "that this could happen to another patient in future."
"Permanent and irrevocable voluntary surrender precludes that eventuality," the college said in the decision.
William, who college records show most recently practised at Rasha Medical Clinic on Pembina Highway, had previously worked in Thompson and Steinbach. He will not be able to apply for a medical licence anywhere in the future, and was ordered to pay the college $25,000 in costs.
The decision to revoke William’s licence is the third case of sexual misconduct aimed at a Manitoba doctor in recent years.
A similar chaperone requirement was placed on Ste. Anne, Man. Dr. Arcel Bissonnette before Bissonnette was formally charged with six counts of sexual assault between 2004 and 2017. The college revoked Bissonnette’s licence in November 2020 after the criminal charges came to light.
A year prior, Amir Houshang Mazhariravesh, known as Dr. Amir Ravesh, was convicted of six counts of sexual assault at an Elmwood walk-in clinic. Ravesh was originally charged with 11 counts of sexual assault after complainants began coming forward in 2017. Ravesh was found guilty on six charges in December 2019, and was sentenced to seven years in prison.
Julia-Simone Rutgers is a general-assignment reporter.