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Former Halifax doctor charged with sexual assault in relation to patient

Investigators have charged Graeme Bethune, 74, seen here in a 2017 Global News story, with one count of sexual assault. File/Global News

A former Halifax doctor has been charged with sexual assault in relation to a patient in the mid-2000s.

Graeme Hamilton Bethune, 74, faces one count of sexual assault. Halifax Regional Police (HRP) says the incidents happened in a residence in Dartmouth between 2005 and 2007.

“Bethune was a family physician at the time of the incidents and was in a position of trust in relation to the victim who was a patient,” HRP said in a statement.

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Police say the matter was reported to them in November 2020, and that they are not releasing further details out of respect for the victim’s privacy.

Bethune had his medical licence revoked in May 2020 after the College of Physicians & Surgeons of Nova Scotia found he committed professional misconduct “by engaging in an inappropriate personal relationship with a vulnerable patient.”

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In a release issued at the time, the college said Bethune had proposed the revocation agreement, which came as a result of a complaint.

“The Hearing Committee was satisfied that the proposed agreement was appropriate in the circumstances. The Committee determined that its reasons for decision are subject to a publication ban to protect the patient,” the statement read.

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In March 2017, Bethune was interviewed by Global News as part of a story on the strain on family doctors as a growing number of physicians were set to retire.

At the time, Bethune said he had been searching for a replacement doctor at his north-end Halifax clinic, and was planning to retire in less than three months.

He told Global News he was seeing more than 2,000 patients at his clinic, and he was having trouble finding a replacement.

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