Physio punished for pulling woman's undies

·2-min read

A Sydney physiotherapist has had his licence suspended and been barred from treating women after pulling a female patient's underwear three times.

In September 2021, the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal found Oscar Yildirim guilty of professional misconduct after he failed to protect the patient's dignity by providing her with a towel to cover her buttocks and yanked on her underwear exposing her pubic area.

The conduct occurred during two consultations in July 2018 when the young woman sought treatment for lower back pain.

"I felt really uncomfortable today," the woman texted her husband after the second consultation.

When her husband asked her, "unsafe or hurty?" she replied "unsafe".

At the time, Yildirim owned Bodyfocus Physiotherapy and Sports Injury which had branches in the Sydney suburbs of Rhodes and Macquarie Park. He has not worked as a physiotherapist since 2020.

NCAT found Yildirim pulled the underwear aside for no medical reason and that this amounted to "inappropriate conduct of a sexual nature".

On Thursday, NCAT suspended the physiotherapist's medical licence for six months and prohibited him from treating female patients and working in a solo practice after he returned to work.

The tribunal rejected claims by the Health Care Complaints Commission that Yildirim have his licence suspended for 36 months.

Finding that the conduct was serious, NCAT said it was an isolated incident and that the practitioner did not pose a substantial risk to the public.

"In our view ... a reprimand and the suspension of Mr Yildirim's registration would serve to appropriately denounce the impugned conduct to the profession and the public."

A bid by the HCCC to bar Yildirim from providing any health service was rejected by NCAT.

However, the tribunal imposed narrower conditions including preventing the treatment of female patients.

Yildirim can seek to overturn these restrictions in 24 months.