Chiropractor registration cancelled for inappropriately touching patients

04 May 2021

A Perth chiropractor has had his registration cancelled and been disqualified from applying for registration as a health practitioner for four and a half years after he was found to have inappropriately touched five female patients.

The State Administrative Tribunal in Western Australia (the tribunal) found that Dr Soroush Ebtash engaged in:

  • professional misconduct, in that he inappropriately touched five female patients without any clinical justification and without obtaining the patients’ consent. The tribunal found that Dr Ebtash’s inappropriate touching of the patients was of a sexual nature; and 
  • unsatisfactory professional performance, in that Dr Ebtash's clinical knowledge, skills and judgment were below the standard reasonably expected of a practitioner of equivalent training or experience. The tribunal found that Dr Ebtash failed to:
    • appropriately assess four patients by undertaking an appropriate examination, failed to formulate a reasonable management plan for their treatment, and failed to engage in effective communication with each patient; 
    • appropriately assess a patient by undertaking an examination and failed to formulate a reasonable management plan for treating her; and 
    • keep adequate clinical records for eight patients. 
The tribunal cancelled Dr Ebtash’s registration as a chiropractor and ordered that he be disqualified from applying for registration as a health practitioner for four years and a half years. The tribunal considered that the appropriate length of disqualification was five years, but took into account the fact that the Board had suspended Dr Ebtash’s registration on 16 September 2020 and reduced the period of disqualification it ordered to four years and six months. Prior to the suspension of his registration, Dr Ebtash was required to comply with chaperone conditions the Board imposed on his registration on 16 December 2016 while the matter was investigated, and the tribunal proceedings were underway. 
The tribunal also ordered that Dr Ebtash be prohibited from providing any health service which involves consultation with, or touching of, any female patient until he is re-registered as a health practitioner. Dr Ebtash was further ordered to pay the Board’s costs, fixed in the sum of $178,500. 
The tribunal’s decision was published on the eCourts Portal of Western Australia website on 29 March. 
Page reviewed 4/05/2021