An Ottawa doctor could lose her medical licence after facing a disciplinary hearing Thursday for alleged unsanitary practices and engaging in disgraceful, dishonourable and unprofessional conduct while treating patients at her west end clinic.
Christiane Farazli, an internist at the centre of an HIV and hepatitis scare in late 2011, used to run an endoscopy clinic on Carling Avenue near The Ottawa Hospital’s Civic campus.
- Ottawa endoscopy clinic had "gross, cross-contamination"
- No cases found linking clinic to HIV, hepatitis infections
She gave up performing endoscopies at her clinic in September 2011, but months earlier her clinic failed an inspection by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario.
In the college's inspection report, Farazli was accused of using unsterilized instruments and having "gross cross-contamination" from a dirty scope, among other allegations.
She was then barred from performing endoscopies on the premises or anywhere else in Ontario.
Public health scare in 2011
An Ottawa Public Health investigation also accused Farazli of using improper cleaning procedures for patients treated between April 2002 and June 2011.
Public health officials sent 6,800 letters to former patients warning them to get tested for HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C. But after a year-long investigation, officials said they found no cases linked to the clinic.
Thursday’s hearing in Toronto centres around allegations from 20 patients alleging Farazli failed to maintain the standard of practice of the profession, contravened the Regulated Health Professions Act or regulations under the Medicine Act, displayed incompetence and engaged in disgraceful, dishonourable or unprofessional conduct.
The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario specifically alleges she had "callous, rough and unprofessional" communications with patients, maintained inaccurate notes and asked a sales representative to help her with a procedure when no nurse was available.
None of these allegations have been proven. Farazli could lose her medical licence or have her licence suspended if the panel finds her guilty.
A $10-million class-action lawsuit was filed against Farazli in late 2011, but there has been no legal movement since the doctor filed her defence a few months later.
Farazli has also tried to sue The Ottawa Hospital on three separate occasions for malpractice, including the latest in 2009. All three cases were dismissed.