July 17, 2019 2:29 pm
Updated: July 18, 2019 3:35 pm

St. Albert pediatrician charged with sexual assault allowed to practise with chaperone present

WATCH ABOVE: A doctor facing charges for sexual assault and sexual contact with a minor is once again allowed to practise medicine after a ruling from a judge. Sarah Kraus reports.

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A St. Albert pediatrician charged with sexual assault can once again practise in Alberta as long as a chaperone is present.

Earlier this year, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta suspended Dr. Ramneek Kumar’s practice permit.

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Kumar was charged in March with two counts of sexual contact with a child and one count of sexual assault in connection with an alleged incident that reportedly took place in southern Alberta between Aug. 1 and 31, 2015. The allegations do not involve a patient.

READ MORE: St. Albert pediatrician charged with sexual assault will be supervised while seeing patients: CPSA

After the charges were laid, the college asked Kumar to voluntarily withdraw from his practice pending the investigation, but he declined. Kumar negotiated with the college, which resulted in an agreement in which Kumar could continue to see patients with a chaperone present.

The Rivercrest Medical Clinic in St. Albert said Kumar resigned from the clinic on April 2 and had not practised at the facility since March 20.

In May, the CPSA said that while the charges have yet to be proven in a court of law, it “does not believe it’s appropriate for Dr. Kumar to practise medicine for the duration of the legal process.”

READ MORE: St. Albert pediatrician suspended from practice amid sexual assault investigation

In a media release sent Wednesday morning, the CPSA said Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta Justice K.M. Eidsvik stayed the college’s decision to suspend Kumar’s practice permit.

As a result, Kumar will once again be allowed to practise medicine. However, he is required to have a chaperone present at every visit and he must post a sign in his clinic office that states that visits need to be conducted with a chaperone.

“We’ve used the tools we have to help to protect the public,” said Jessica McPhee, director of communications with the CPSA.

“Right now, we do still have the chaperone conditions in place, so we are still able to protect patients through that method.”

According to the Court of Queen’s Bench decision, Kumar is a pediatrician with more than 20 years of experience. He previously practised in Norway before moving to the Edmonton area, where he’s practised since 2011.

Kumar is now practising at Hope Medicare Clinic in Calgary. Dr. Sunil Khullar, the managing director at the clinic, said Kumar started two days ago. Khullar said he has no concerns about Kumar practising at his clinic.

“We went through his history from Norway to India, everything was clear. The judgement came, so we are much satisfied. We are keeping an eye, no doubt, because he has restrictions — for the public safety. Everything seems to be OK. We have full faith in this doctor,” Khullar said over the phone from Calgary Wednesday.

Khullar said they have two full-time chaperones working to oversee Kumar’s patient visits.

The college said it will wait until the criminal charges are dealt with before launching its own investigation.

Kumar is scheduled to go to trial in October.

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