Dialogue Volume 13 Issue 3 2017 - Page 54

DISCIPLINE SUMMARIES phoned Dr. Clowater on August 22, 2011, leaving a voicemail reminding her that her membership fee had not been paid. Dr. Clowater responded on Au- gust 24, 2011, advising she would fax the credit card information again. On August 29, 2011, Dr. Clowa- ter’s husband advised that the credit card payment form would be faxed August 31, 2011. Despite these efforts, payment information was never received. The College phoned Dr. Clowater on September 2 and 6, 2011 but there was no answer and no ability to leave a voice mail. There was no suggestion that Dr. Clowater’s husband acted without her author- ity. There is no explanation offered in the record as to why these promises were made and not fulfilled. Indeed, in her email of September 6, 2011, Dr. Clowater acknowledged that she was fully aware of the deadline for impending suspension and offered a lack of funds and a family death as excuses. Accord- ingly, based on the facts before the Committee, the Committee infers that these promises of payment were made with knowledge that they would not be complied with. Given the above, the Committee concluded that Dr. Clowater knowingly and intentionally disregard- ed her professional duty to pay her annual member- ship dues to the College. Furthermore, the Com- mittee concluded Dr. Clowater was deceptive when she informed the College that she was forwarding payment when in fact she did not do so. Dr. Clowater was clearly notified of her suspension and that she was no longer authorized to practise medicine in Ontario as of 12:01 a.m. September 7, 2011 in a Notice of Suspension sent by email and by letter. The Notice of Suspension further noted that Dr. Clowater’s billings to OHIP during her suspen- sion would be rejected and would not be recoverable. Indeed, Dr. Clowater did not submit bills to OHIP during the time she was suspended, which reinforces the conclusion that she had an understanding of her suspension. The measures required to have her certificate reinstated were set out in writing and she was informed that she must not resume practise until the College had advised that her that her certificate of registration has been issued. Dr. Clowater paid her membership fees September 19, 2011 and applied for reinstatement. On September 28, 2011, the College informed Dr. Clowater by email that she was still not authorized to 54 DIALOGUE ISSUE 3, 2017 practise medicine in Ontario. In that email, the Col- lege asked Dr. Clowater to confirm in writing that she had not been practising since September 7, 2011. Dr. Clowater replied by email that she had not been practising since September 7, 2011. However, she sent a further email the next day where she admitted that she had, in fact, been practising from Septem- ber 15 to 28, 2011. In explanation, Dr. Clowater offered a somewhat confusing story that this was a “terrible misunderstanding.” She indicated that she or her husband communicated with the College on September 14, 2011 and was advised that it could take 24 to 48 hours for her payment to be processed. Dr. Clowater stated that she took from this that she could resume practise after September 15, 2011. The Committee did not find this to be a reasonable assumption given the College’s explicit direction that Dr. Clowater was not to resume practise until she ap- plied for and was issued a new certificate of registra- tion. Furthermore, as of September 14, 2011, Dr. Clowater’s membership payment had not yet been received by the College. Dr. Clowater’s certificate of registration was rein- stated October 7, 2011. Dr. Clowater’s alleged confusion regarding her suspension came to the forefront again in her January 26, 2012 response to the College, in which she said that she was unaware that her certificate of registra- tion had been suspended until she was notified by the secretary at the Children’s Treatment Centre in Chatham on September 9, 2011. Dr. Clowater fur- ther wrote that payment was faxed that day but she thought the problem may be that the fax machine was disconnected for the entire week. These claims makes no sense