Nature of Action: Pursuant to section 35(1)(a) of the Health Professions Act (the “Act”), a panel of the Inquiry Committee made an order to impose a limit on Raja Ramaswamy’s practice of massage therapy, in order to protect the public. The limit is that Mr. Ramaswamy is prohibited from treating female patients.
Reasons: CMTBC received a complaint from a female patient alleging that Mr. Ramaswamy engaged in sexual misconduct during the provision of massage therapy to the patient, including by engaging in non-therapeutic touching of sensitive areas of the patient’s body and exposure of sensitive areas of the patient’s body.
The Inquiry Committee panel considered the applicable legal test and, without deciding the merits of the allegations, was satisfied that there was a prima facie case of sexual misconduct, and that the complaint was not manifestly unfounded, unreliable or exaggerated.
The Inquiry Committee concluded that there would be a real risk of harm to female patients if Mr. Ramaswamy were allowed to continue to practice without restriction. Therefore, the panel determined that the public must be protected by an interim order during the investigation and pending any discipline hearing.
The panel considered what interim measures would be sufficient and proportionate in this case. Having weighed the different options and the circumstances of this case, and having considered the impact on the registrant, the panel concluded that a limit prohibiting the registrant from treating female patients is proportionate and sufficient to protect the public during the investigation or pending a discipline hearing.
Important Note: Limits, conditions and suspensions ordered by the Inquiry Committee under section 35(1) of the Act are made to protect the public during an investigation or pending a hearing of the Discipline Committee. Measures taken under section 35(1) of the Act pertain to allegations which are and remain unproven unless admitted by a registrant or determined by the Discipline Committee.