BGH doctor suspended for behaviour

Dr. Jay Bhatt, seen here in the red sweater during a March 9, 2016 cheque presentation, has been suspended for four months due to unprofessional conduct. The Ontario College of Physicians and Surgeons handed down the reprimand last week. (BGH via Newswatch Group, File)

BROCKVILLE – A doctor at the Brockville General Hospital, known for his work with the Cardiovascular Program, has been suspected for four months for professional misconduct.

Dr. Jayant “Jay” Bhatt was reprimanded Monday, April 4, 2016 by the Ontario College of Physicians and Surgeons and also ordered to pay $5,000.

In its ruling, the college said Dr. Bhatt had a history of disruptive, unprofessional and inappropriate conduct toward female colleagues, staff and patients at BGH and the hospital took action in 2011 to correct his actions.

But the problems resurfaced in July 2014 with seven new complaints, the ruling states.

The college outlined a litany of misogynistic behaviour toward four nurses, including yelling at some of them and, in one case, a nurse was told to “shut the f— up” when she tried to ask Dr. Bhatt a question.

At least two doctors recounted being on the receiving end of Dr. Bhatt’s behaviour.

Patients were also derided about their weight with one woman being told “You should keep the lights on at night so that food fairy doesn’t put food in your mouth,” the ruling states.

The matters had been referred to a disciplinary committee and BGH had put Dr. Bhatt on in-patient consultations last fall. But after an episode with a female doctor there, the hospital pulled Dr. Bhatt from that work.

Hospital CEO Tony Weeks told the Recorder and Times the situation is troubling and the hospital can’t condone that type of behaviour. He hopes the doctor reflects on his actions while he’s suspended.

In addition to the four month suspension, Dr. Bhatt will be under a number of conditions when he returns to work in August. Those include restrictions from some hospital departments, not being alone with some of the complainants and he will have to undergo an ethics and boundaries program at his own expense.