Former P.A. doc can face mis­con­duct charges in ab­sen­tia

Regina Leader-Post - - CITY + REGION - THIA JAMES tjames@postmedia.com

SASKA­TOON A Prince Al­bert doc­tor fac­ing pro­fes­sional mis­con­duct charges by the Col­lege of Physi­cians and Sur­geons of Saskatchewan is no longer li­censed to prac­tice medicine in the prov­ince.

Dr. Josias Fursten­berg, who had been prac­tis­ing medicine in Prince Al­bert, did not re­new his med­i­cal li­cence in Saskatchewan and hasn’t been li­censed since Dec. 1, ac­cord­ing to the CPSS’s as­so­ci­ate regis­trar and le­gal coun­sel, Bryan Salte. The CPSS has also learned that Fursten­berg has closed his P.A. prac­tice and may have re­turned to South Africa, Salte said.

“There’s noth­ing that pre­vents us from con­tin­u­ing with the dis­ci­pline pro­ceed­ing not­with­stand­ing the fact the person has left the coun­try, or has left the prov­ince or is oth­er­wise un­avail­able,” Salte said.

Fursten­berg first came to the col­lege’s at­ten­tion af­ter a mother of one of his pa­tients raised con­cerns about her daugh­ter’s relationship with the doc­tor. The col­lege ob­tained a court or­der to seize and search Fursten­berg’s mobile phone. Salte said the search led the col­lege to other peo­ple the col­lege be­lieved may have had a relationship with the doc­tor.

“They have given us in­for­ma­tion and that’s what’s re­sulted in the charges,” he said.

The CPSS filed pro­fes­sional mis­con­duct charges against Fursten­berg in late Novem­ber. The col­lege al­leges that Fursten­berg “com­mit­ted acts of sex­ual im­pro­pri­ety or sex­ual vi­o­la­tion” with five pa­tients, in­clud­ing sex­ual in­ter­course.

Among the charges, which in­clude in­ap­pro­pri­ately shar­ing pa­tient in­for­ma­tion, Fursten­berg al­legedly pre­scribed large quan­ti­ties of opi­oids to one of the pa­tients he al­legedly had in­ter­course with and failed to take ap­pro­pri­ate steps to deal with the pa­tient’s de­pen­dency and/or ad­dic­tion.

The charges have not been proven in a hear­ing and they are not crim­i­nal charges.

A hear­ing can be held in Fursten­berg ’s ab­sence if he doesn’t ad­mit to the charges, as long as the col­lege en­sures he’s served with a no­tice of hear­ing. The col­lege has been in con­tact with his lawyer, who is based in Saskatchewan.

“I think that we all have obli­ga­tions as reg­u­la­tory bod­ies to deal ef­fec­tively with things that have arisen in our ju­ris­dic­tion and not just sim­ply say, ‘That’s not our prob­lem any longer, they’re some­place else’, and it can have an im­pact on that person’s abil­ity to prac­tice in other places, other prov­inces, other coun­tries,” Salte said.

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