Edmonton-area doctor's permit cancelled after inappropriate relationships with patients

A family doctor from Stony Plain, Alta., has lost his permit to practice after he pleaded guilty to six counts of unprofessional conduct.

A College of Physicians & Surgeons of Alberta hearing tribunal cancelled the permit of Dr. Sanjeev Bhardwaj, a news release from the college stated Thursday.

“Albertans should feel safe and confident they’ll receive good care when visiting the doctor,” college registrar Dr. Scott McLeod said in the release.

“We are pleased with this outcome and the precedent it sets. This reaffirms the responsibility health care providers have to protect their patients.”

At his disciplinary hearing in late 2018, Bhardwaj admitted to sexual involvement with four of his patients, prescribing high levels of opioids to one of those patients despite clear signs of addiction, and failing to report this conduct to CPSA during the annual permit renewal process.

The college’s sanction hearing was held in May 2019.

In addition to losing his permit, Bhardwaj has also been ordered to pay 50 per cent of the costs associated with his hearing and investigation, the release states.

Under the Health Professions Act, Bhardwaj has 30 days from the date of the decision to notify the college in writing if he wants to appeal. To date, he has not filed an appeal, the release states.

Bhardwaj can apply in three years to have his permit reinstated. He has not been in practice since 2016.

Stony Plain is 40 kilometres west of Edmonton.

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