Poulsbo doctor accused of abuse, sexual misconduct

POULSBO, Wash. -- A Poulsbo doctor is facing accusations of abuse and sexual misconduct with patients, and the Department of Health is already taking action.

Six of Dr. Narinder Duggal's patients have come forward with similar complaints. They accuse Duggal of either over-prescribing or misprescribing medication, and some even say they got worse after seeing the doctor.

Duggal's website describes his practice as Kitsap County's premier center for medical and pharmacology excellence. But a 32 page statement of charges filed against him by the Department of Health raises serious questions about how he treated six patients.

He's accused of violating the standard of care, including everything from allegedly not checking a patient's medical history to prescribing opiates without a specific diagnosis. One complainant said Duggal over prescribed painkillers and sleeping pills, which the patient soon became addicted to.

Duggal refused KOMO's interview request, but several of his current patients spoke out on his behalf.

"He's helped me out a great deal with the ailments that I have," said a man named Don, who said Duggal has been his doctor for 10 years.

Don said Duggal is actually conservative when it comes to prescribing medication. Another patient, named Lynne, said she couldn't believe the accusations.

"I'm shocked," she said. "I think they're crazy."

The Department of Health's Medical Quality Assurance Commission stands by the allegations, which also include sex-related claims.

One patient said Duggal forced his tongue down her throat while placing his hand on her breasts. Another patient told investigators she had sex with Duggal at his home

While the case plays out, four current patients say despite the allegations against him, they're going to stick with Duggal.

"I don't believe it because he has been good doctor. I like him," said a patient named Rosalina.

The charges against Duggal are not criminal. The investigation is a discipline-related matter and the state says Duggal cooperated with its investigation.

He has not yet responded to the statement of charges, and he will have 20 days to file a former answer and request a hearing to defend himself.