Blairmore physician wins appeal, gets to keep medical licence

Click to play video: 'Dr. Johann Maritz wins appeal and keeps medical licence' Dr. Johann Maritz wins appeal and keeps medical licence
A Blairmore family doctor found guilty of four charges of unprofessional conduct last year has won an appeal to keep his medical licence and pay fewer fees. Jasmine Bala has an update on the case – May 17, 2019

A family doctor from Blairmore, Alta., who was found guilty of four charges of unprofessional conduct last year has won an appeal to keep his medical licence and pay fewer fees.

After being found guilty of engaging in sexual relationships with female patients, Dr. Johann Maritz was restricted to only seeing male patients for three years and employing a mature practicing physician. He also had to notify his patients of his restrictions and was handed an 18-month suspension, which he’s already served.

Maritz was ordered to pay 100 per cent of the investigation and hearing costs, totalling $104,038. He successfully appealed this to the council review panel of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta (CPSA) and now only has to pay 60 per cent of the fees, which comes out to $62,423.

In the panel review’s written decision on March 20, 2019, the panel concluded that he “should bear a significant portion of the costs of the investigation and the hearing,” but it was “inappropriate” for Maritz to be responsible for 100 per cent of the costs.

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READ MORE: Blairmore physician found guilty of unprofessional conduct

CPSA’s complaints director also unsuccessfully sought the revocation of Maritz’s medical licence in an appeal.

The review panel upheld the hearing tribunal’s decision to impose an 18-month suspension rather than cancelling his practice permit.

“CPSA is disappointed by the outcome of the hearing appeal in the Dr. Johann Maritz case,” said complaints director Dr. Michael Caffaro in a statement provided to Global News. “We are exploring our options in this exceptional case as CPSA must ensure patient safety when under the care of a physician.”

The first charge Maritz faced was from 2000, when he engaged in an inappropriate relationship with a patient.

READ MORE: Peterborough physician accused of professional misconduct, faces discipline hearing

CPSA had issued a continuing care contract in response to the boundary violation, placing restrictions on Maritz, which he then breached when he engaged in a second sexual relationship with a patient between 2003 and 2015.

The third charge was his failure to disclose his relationship with the second patient and the fourth charge was prescribing medication to a patient in June 2016 that went against agreed restrictions.

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Maritz admitted to the first three charges and was found guilty of the fourth at his hearing.

Global News spoke with Maritz on Friday, but he declined to comment.

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