May 2, 2018

Queensland doctor with ties to ‘cult’ stood down from industry body after sharing medical history

9 News,Australia
May 2, 2018

A doctor who secretly shared a patient’s medical history with an alleged cult leader has stood down from his role representing industry body Australian Medical Association in Queensland.

Dr Sam Kim withdrew from Queensland’s council for the AMA after public broadcaster ABC investigated his second alleged instance of professional misconduct in a year.

The investigation focused on his ties to the controversial group Universal Medicine (UM), an organisation that offered treatments such as “esoteric breast massage” and “esoteric body work” and reportedly has about 700 followers.

AMA Queensland chair of board and council Dr Shaun Rudd confirmed to that Dr Kim has stood down from his position.

 “It is the role of the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) to regulate the nation’s health practitioners. AMA Queensland is a professional membership organisation. Dr Sam Kim is a practicing physician and AMA Queensland member,” Dr Rudd said.

“He filled a casual vacancy on the AMA Queensland Council in 2017 but has decided to stand down pending resolution of this current matter.”

UM has drawn criticism for publicly revealing a former client’s schizophrenia diagnosis.

The ABC reports last month the NSW Privacy Commissioner found Dr Kim had violated his patient’s privacy by sharing his records with UM founder, Serge Benyhayon.

Benhayon claims to be the reincarnation of Leonardo Da Vinci.

Business owner Riley Martin told the ABC he consulted Dr Kim for a lung condition in 2010 having already received “energetic treatments” from Benhayon.

Mr Martin said he had grown sceptical about the value of the treatments, stopping them and later criticising UM in the media.

But he then learned his medical history had been shared when his GP looked up his records.

"I felt very aggrieved that my private medical information had been passed on to Mr Benhayon, who has no medical qualifications whatsoever,” he told the ABC.

The privacy report has said it was “unclear” why Dr Kim provided “what appears to be Mr Martin’s entire medical history to Mr Benhayon”.

The privacy commissioner has rejected Dr Kim’s explanation that he had verbal consent to share the records.

Mr Martin has said he wants an assurance that other patients’ information will not be shared.

In a separate case to Mr Martin’s, a former UM client’s full name, image and schizophrenia diagnosis were published on a webpage published by UM’s “facts teams”.

The man discovered it when he did a Google search on himself while preparing for a job interview.

"Finding UM's article was shocking. My privacy in respect to that diagnosis is very important. I'm worried about not finding a job because of that,” he said.


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