10 Mar 2014

Sports therapist may face legal action

3:53 pm on 10 March 2014

A sports therapist who made sexually inappropriate comments while examining a partly naked woman may face legal action.

In a report released on Monday, Deputy Health and Disability Commissioner Theo Baker says there are worrying aspects to the behaviour of the unnamed therapist, who breached patient rights by the way he treated a vulnerable woman patient in mid-2012.

Ms Baker says the woman, who had a history of being sexually abused, visited the therapist for help with sciatic pain.

On her second appointment she was asked to remove her jacket and skivvy, and lay exposed while he made inappropriate comments.

"She wasn't wearing a bra, she lay exposed and felt very uncomfortable," Ms Baker says. "The therapist in this case did nothing to make her feel more comfortable. He could have offered her draping, but instead he made comments about her body."

Ms Baker has referred the case to the director of proceedings, who will decide whether to take action in the Human Rights Review Tribunal.