Sunshine Coast Hospital says pediatrician accused of exploitation ‘never alone with a patient’

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A doctor specializing in child health on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast will stand trial later this year after being charged by federal police with possession of child abuse material.

Tom Sun Yap, 43, had worked as a consultant pediatrician at Sunshine Coast University Hospital until he was charged last month.

He has also been suspended by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency and the Queensland Office of Health Ombudsman.

A spokeswoman for the Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service said “consulting pediatricians are never alone with a patient”.

“There is always a nurse, parent or junior doctor present.”

She declined to comment on the specific case because it was before the courts.

Legal documents claim that Dr. Yap sent and possessed material on child exploitation in April and May 2019.

He has been accused of using a transport service to transmit child pornographic material and of possessing material obtained or accessed by means of a cart.

AFP says the investigation began in May when the Australian Center for Counter Child Exploitation received a report from the U.S. National Center for Missing and Exploited Children about an online user who uploaded child abuse material using Yahoo and Google accounts.

Investigators allegedly linked the Birtinya man to the linked accounts.

A search warrant was issued at the man’s home on May 18, in which investigators seized a laptop, cell phone, USB and printed photos.

The digital devices will now be the subject of further forensic examination.

The maximum penalty for these offenses is 15 years in prison.

The case was heard in Maroochydore Magistrates Court on Friday and was adjourned until August 26.

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