Accused Alberta doctor asked to voluntarily give up practice permit

LETHBRIDGE, Alta. — The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta says it’s asking a Lethbridge anaesthesiologist to immediately surrender his permit to practise medicine, pending the outcome of a sexual assault charge against him.

The college says in a statement released Tuesday that it would be inappropriate for Dr. Barry Wollach to continue his practice, given the seriousness of the allegation against him.

The college also says if Wollach chooses not to surrender his permit, it has the authority under the Health Professions Act to suspend a physician in the interest of public safety.

Balfour Der, Wollach’s lawyer, says his client had been practising in Lethbridge when he was charged in December with one count of sexual assault involving a woman in Calgary.

Der says the charge does not involve a patient and his accuser is a woman he had been with socially.

The allegation against Wollach has not been proven in court and Der says Wollach is innocent.

“The CPSA is disturbed by the criminal charges,” college registrar Dr. Scott McLeod said in the statement.

“Regardless of the allegations, we remain confident the vast majority of physicians in our province provide quality care to Albertans.”

Der said Wollach is out on bail and is scheduled to appear in Calgary provincial court Feb. 4.

“Dr. Wollach absolutely denies the allegation against him … We will vigorously defend it,” he said. (CTV Calgary, The Canadian Press)

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