Poulsbo doctor loses medical license after abuse allegations

POULSBO, Wash. - A Poulsbo doctor accused of abuse and sexual misconduct has been permanently barred from practicing medicine in Washington state.

The Department of Health's Medical Quality Assurance Commission permanently suspended Dr. Narinder Duggal's medical license after accusations from eight patients surfaced more than a year ago.

The patients who filed complaints against Duggal did not want to comment after the decision was handed down, but Assistant Attorney General Kristin Brewer, who spoke on their behalf, says they are "relieved."

They accuse Duggal of either over-prescribing or misprescribing medication, and some even say they got worse after seeing the doctor.

Duggal's attorney Thomas Olmstead says his client is innocent.

"I feel that one of them was attempting to blackmail him and the other one was propositioning him," Olmstead says.

Duggal's website described 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 some 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.

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.

Duggal's medical license is only suspended in Washington state, but the suspension is recorded in the National Practitioner Data Bank.

Duggal's attorney says they will appeal the Medical Quality Assurance Commission's decision.