A doctor brought to London, ON via the city's $20,000 Adopt-A-Doc subsidy program with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario that will see him avoid a sexual abuse and narcotics inquiry in exchange for giving up his medical licence and promising to never practise again in any jurisdiction.
Dr Robert Axford-Gatley practised in London until 2004, when he left for Toronto at his wife's behest. There, he worked in cosmetic medicine. (In , he offers Botox and collagen lip treatments: "Want lips like Angelina Jolie's?") But, reports the London Free Press, his marriage fell apart and he struggled financially. He in December 2005 after receiving a $20,000 grant to facilitate the move.
Now, after allegations of sexual abuse of patients and improper prescribing, including of narcotics, Dr Axford-Gatley has managed to strike a deal to avoid a public airing of the charges. Why would the College agree to make such a deal?
In the case of Axford-Gatley, the college obtained more from the agreement than it would have been able to impose if it had investigated and prosecuted his case, [College spokesperson Kathryn] Clarke said.Despite Ms Clarke's reasoning, it remains to be seen how the people of London feel about an agreement that shoves allegations of sexual abuse under the rug.
"We could effectively take someone out of practice in Ontario but we have no authority to take someone out of practice elsewhere. He has agreed not to practise elsewhere," she said.
Meanwhile, London mayor Anne Marie DeCicco-Best is trying to recoup part of the city's investment in the Adopt-A-Doc payments:
[DeCicco-Best] said the city sent Axford-Gatley a letter in August requesting he pay back a portion of the Adopt-A-Doc grant. There has been no response, she said.The truth about Dr Axford-Gatley's reason for resigning, which he actually did in July, hadn't come out until now. The London Free Press had he "got burned out."
"If he doesn't respond shortly we will have to look at what our next steps are," the mayor said.
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