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College announces Decision Regarding Dr. Harvey Damacen

The College of Physicians & Surgeons of Nova Scotia hereby gives notice that  a Hearing Committee has issued a decision dated March 5, 2021, accepting a Settlement Agreement under subsection 103(1) of the Medical Act.   

The Hearing Committee accepted the following sanctions:

  • Dr. Damacen is reprimanded;
  • Dr. Damacen’s certificate of registration shall be suspended for a period of nine(9) months, less 17 days for time served in 2018; and
  • Dr. Damacen’s period of suspension will be served beginning December 1, 2020, and ending August 15, 2021.

Read the Hearing Committee Decision.

Important Changes: MAiD Standard Under Revision

Bill C-7 has been passed by the Senate and received Royal Assent. It is now in force and is the law. As such, the College is amending its Standard to reflect the important changes in Canada’s legal approach to Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD). These changes include a pathway to eligibility to MAiD for patients whose natural death is not reasonably foreseeable, as well as ongoing eligibility for patients who have lost capacity after having been found to be eligible  (Audrey’s Amendment).

Notice Regarding Attendance and Reporting at the Resumption of the Hearing Regarding Dr. Manivasan Moodley – April 6, 2021

The hearing respecting Dr. Moodley commenced on February 24, 2020, and continued until February 28, 2020. The hearing resumed on August 26 and 27, 2020, and was followed by written submissions from the parties. The Hearing Committee rendered its decision on the allegations against Dr. Moodley on November 23, 2020, finding that he had engaged in professional misconduct with patient A.B. and patient C.D. The decision can be found here.

The Hearing Committee will meet on April 6, 2021 to hear submissions from the parties with respect to the appropriate sanction, and costs.

The Hearing will be conducted virtually, and will be subject to the same publication ban and Exclusion Order that applied during the hearing of the charges. 

Media who attend must abide by the following directions:

1.  In accordance with a publication ban granted on October 24, 2019, the names and all information that may identify the complainants in this matter are banned from any form of publication or disclosure;

2.  The media are permitted to virtually attend the hearing scheduled to resume on April 6 at 0930.  In addition, individuals such as the family members who are identified by legal counsel for Dr. Moodley or the complainants as their support for the hearing,  are permitted to virtually attend the hearing.

3.  Individuals apart from those identified above are not permitted to attend the hearing but will have full access to any decisions of the Hearing Panel, subject to the publication ban.

4.  For those permitted to virtually attend the hearing, the following will apply:

a.  No video images or photography may be taken while evidence is being presented or submissions are being made.

b. Audio recording by the media is permitted for note-taking purposes, but not for broadcast purposes.

c.   In order to uphold the publication ban, no live transmission of the evidence is permitted, through live tweeting, blogging or any other simultaneous source of reporting. Media are otherwise permitted to report information about the hearing, but only after the parties have had an opportunity to consider whether any evidence presented may be subject to the publication ban. During the mid-morning and mid-afternoon breaks, and prior to the lunch break and end of the day, the Hearing Panel will canvass the parties to determine if there is evidence that may be subject to the publication ban and will provide direction to the media in this regard prior to the media reporting on the preceding evidence.

5.  Those attending the hearing will be required to register with the College in advance and acknowledge agreement with these directions. Any media who would like to attend the hearing through virtual means may do so by contacting Pattie Lacroix, Director of Communications at no later than 4:00 pm on Wednesday, March 31. Arrangements will be made to send an electronic link for their attendance and to obtain an acknowledgement of the directions for the hearing.

6. Other inquiries about the hearing should be directed to:

Pattie LaCroix
Director, Communications & Policy

Information for Dr. Emmanuel Rivera’s Patients

Dr. Emmanuel Rivera is in the process of implementing changes to his practice which were mandated by the College. This is part of a rigorous process undertaken by the College to define an appropriate scope of practice for Dr. Rivera who has not yet achieved the necessary credentials for full licensure in Nova Scotia. This posting is intended to explain the College’s process.

Dr. Rivera’s Licence

Dr. Emmanuel Rivera presently holds a Restricted Licence – a form of long-term, renewable licensure granted to physicians who do not qualify for full licensure. In addition to having evidence of good health and good character, the national standards for full licensure require that a physician:

  • hold an appropriate MD;
  • be a licentiate of the Medical Council of Canada; and
  • be certified by either the Royal College (for specialists) or the College of Family Physicians of Canada.

Dr. Rivera was initially licensed in 2014 with a Defined (conditional) Licence. The purpose of conditional licensure is to allow a physician to work towards full licensure – which, in most cases, means practicing under College supervision and oversight while preparing for certification exams. When first granted a provisional licence, physicians sign a Licensing Agreement, setting out the timeline and pathway for the physician to attain full licensure.

The Medical Act, together with College policy, requires that conditional licensure be time-limited. Dr. Rivera’s initial agreement allotted up to five years to fulfill the requirements set out in his licensing agreement. At the conclusion of this time period, Dr. Rivera requested that his Defined Licence be extended and converted to a Restricted Licence on appropriate conditions. This led the College’s Registration Committee to conduct a full assessment of his practice.

Practice Restrictions

When a physician’s provisional licence ends, an independent Registration Committee, comprised of physicians and public members makes a determination as to whether the physician’s competencies support some form of restricted licensure. These decisions are made after a Comprehensive Clinical Assessment of Practice – essentially a deep dive by independent assessors into the practice of the physician.

Dr. Rivera went through this process, resulting in the Registration Committee concluding that Dr. Rivera is fit and competent to practice in the scope of Family Medicine with certain restrictions and conditions. The Registration Committee directed the Registrar to grant a Restricted Licence to Dr. Rivera. Details of these decisions are not in the public domain. Dr. Rivera is owed a measure of privacy, and as such the details of that decision including the reasons remain confidential.

However, the restrictions imposed are in the public domain and are available on our website. These include the requirement that he limit his practice to 1500 patients which Dr. Rivera has now done using a method in keeping with the College’s Professional Standards and Guidelines Regarding Reducing the Size of a Medical Practice.

The other conditions applied by the Registration Committee were:

  • Must practice under supervision
  • Must not practice inpatient care (hospitalist work)
  • Cannot provide intra-partum obstetrical care
  • Cannot practice in an Emergency Department or in a Collaborative Emergency Centre

Decisions of the College are anchored in a commitment to public safety and to the integrity of the profession.

College lifts interim suspension on Dr. David Barnett’s medical licence

This afternoon the Halifax Provincial Court vacated Dr. David Barnett’s undertaking and attached conditions. The information that gave rise to the consideration of criminal charges and the conditions upon Dr. Barnett’s release have all been dismissed.

“The Crown has notified the College that law enforcement wrongly identified Dr. Barnett as a person possessing for the purposes of distributing child pornography”, said Dr. Gus Grant, Registrar & CEO of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia. “An individual of similar name, with a similar email address, has been arrested in relation to these facts in the state of Ohio. This is a case of mistaken identity.”

“There is no evidence whatsoever connecting Dr. Barnett to matters related to child pornography.”

Upon learning of the provincial court ruling, the College of Physicians and Surgeons immediately held an expedited Investigation Committee meeting. The committee removed the interim suspension imposed on Dr. Barnett’s licence on December 4, 2020, in response to an arrest and criminal charges laid at the time. The licence suspension is lifted effective immediately and the complaint has been dismissed. “In the eyes of the College, Dr. Barnett’s name is entirely clear, as it should be”, Grant stated.

In addition to contacting Dr. Barnett regarding the immediate removal of his licence suspension, stakeholders such as the health authorities will be notified by the College.

For more information please contact:
Pattie LaCroix
Director, Communications & Policy

Emergency licensure available to support COVID-19 Immunization

Retired physicians within three years of practice may be eligible for an Emergency Licence. The College is working closely with Nova Scotia Health to license those retired physicians wishing to assist in the COVID-19 immunization efforts. There is no fee for this emergency licensure. A streamlined process is in place to quickly issue such licences.

Physicians who are interested in supporting immunization clinics have been asked by Nova Scotia Health to complete please complete the Covid-19 immunization intake form.

Pandemic-Related Exceptions to MCCQE Part II

The College has instituted a new policy in recognition of the postponement of the Medical Council of Canada’s Qualifying Examinations Part II. As a result of this exam delay, a number of physicians are unable to meet the requirements of obtaining LMCC for Full licensure. 

The College’s Pandemic-Related Exceptions to the Requirement for the MCCQE Part II Policy allows exceptions for those who were affected by the postponement of this qualifying examination. Review the new policy.

Currently, Nova Scotia is the only province with such an exemption and therefore we encourage postgraduate trainees to continue to challenge the MCCQE Part II as it becomes available so as not to limit their licensing options throughout Canada.

College announces Decision Regarding Dr. Najeeb Kadir

The College of Physicians & Surgeons of Nova Scotia hereby gives notice that  a Hearing Committee has issued a decision dated December 14, 2020, accepting a Settlement Agreement under subsection 103(1) of the Medical Act.   

In the Settlement Agreement, Dr. Najeeb Kadir, of Amherst, Nova Scotia admitted to engaging in a sexual relationship with a patient, and that such conduct constituted professional misconduct and conduct unbecoming.

The Hearing Committee accepted that the following sanctions were appropriate:

  1. Dr. Kadir’s licence to practice medicine is suspended for a period of 18 months.  The suspension is retroactive to September 17, 2019, the date Dr. Kadir removed himself from practice in connection with this matter;
  2. Dr. Kadir must complete a professional boundaries course approved by the College, prior to returning to practice.

In addition, Dr. Kadir must pay the amount of $30,000 to the College as a contribution to the College’s costs arising from its involvement in this matter.

The Hearing Committee was satisfied that the proposed agreement was appropriate in all  the circumstances.  It noted that the subject matter of this complaint occurred prior to the approval of the College’s revised Policy on Sexual Misconduct on March 27, 2020, such that the requirement to seek mandatory sanctions as set out in that Policy were not applicable to this case.

In order to protect the identity of the patient, only this abbreviated version of the Hearing Committee’s Decision will be published on the College’s website.