Nova Scotia orthopedic surgeon suspended for unauthorized surgery

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The Nova Scotia College of Physicians and Surgeons has suspended Dr. Harvey Damacen's licence for nine months. (Robert Short/CBC - image credit)
The Nova Scotia College of Physicians and Surgeons has suspended Dr. Harvey Damacen's licence for nine months. (Robert Short/CBC - image credit)

A Halifax-based orthopedic surgeon has had his license suspended for nine months after he admitted to performing a surgical procedure he wasn't authorized to do.

Dr. Harvey Damacen has a defined license, meaning he's restricted in what procedures he can perform. Damacen obtained his degree and did post-graduate work in Peru and has not yet successfully passed Canadian certification exams. He's only allowed to consult on orthopedics and do minor procedures in his office under local anesthetic.

According to an agreed statement of facts submitted as part of a disciplinary decision by the Nova Scotia College of Physicians and Surgeons, on Aug. 17, 2017, Damacen performed a left knee examination, arthroscopy and minor debridement for one of his employees.

He did not charge her or submit a claim to MSI, he just charged her for the materials he used in the procedure. Damacen also did not document the procedure.

Harassment complaint

As part of his settlement with the college, Damacen has admitted the procedure was beyond the scope of his license.

On, Jan. 12, 2018, the employee went to the college complaining that she'd been sexually harassed by Damacen. It was during the course of that examination that the college learned of the procedure done the previous August.

As part of his settlement, Damacen admits he made comments that were not appropriate but denies he touched the employee or sexually harassed her.

Damacen's suspension will end in August. He's also been ordered to pay $15,000 toward the cost of investigating his case.

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