Despite serious accusations against him, a gynecologist has been able to continue working as an on-call physician in the Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region.
A complaint was made about Dr. Olanrewaju Onasanya, also known as Dr. Lanre Onasanya, in 2014 about an incident in 2011.
Click here to see the charges against him – warning: they are graphic in nature.
The complaint said Onasanya made a comment to a patient about her appearance and her piercings before performing breast and pelvic exams inappropriately. The College of Physicians and Surgeon’s legal counsel called the allegations sexual abuse.
In an email, Dr. George Carson, senior medical health officer for the health region, said the region is aware of the allegations but it “is not responsible for activities of physicians in their private community practices.”
He went on to say that as a matter of justice, people are considered innocent until their case is completed.
The accusations against Onasanya have been making their way through the College of Physicians and Surgeons since 2014. A hearing was held in October, but it has not been concluded.
In the meantime, Onasanya has continued to work as a member of the health region’s on-call group in obstetrics and gynecology.
Patients’ own doctors may not always be available, so one member of the group is available to provide care at all times.
Carson explained in an email that there is another doctor available to back up the on-call doctor when there are emergencies. A patient may decline to be seen by a certain doctor, but in an emergency only the on-call doctor would be readily available.
“Even in less emergent matters, there may not be another obstetrician and gynecologist available. Thus, while patients may decline care, there may be adverse health consequences for them in doing so,” wrote Carson.
The health region said it didn’t tell patients about the accusations against Onasanya because they didn’t come from his work in the health region and, in these situations, he wouldn’t be alone with patients.
The executive director of Sexual Assault Services of Saskatchewan Kerri Isaac said she can’t believe Onasanya is allowed to practice.
His license was not revoked because the College of Physicians and Surgeons felt there wasn’t enough evidence to suggest he was a pressing danger to the public.
“Sexual assault, sexual abuse is a threat to the public,” said Isaac.
Isaac said Onasanya should be suspended from the health region until his name is cleared or the health region should be letting patients know there are such accusations against him.
“As the general public, and someone in the community, I would want to know if I was going to the hospital and the doctor that I was seeing is being charged with an offense.”
980 CJME reached out to Onasanya for a response, but the receptionist at his practice hung up on our reporter.