Trial date set for suspended doctor after five years

A trial date has finally been set for HRLA client and former Victorian GP Jereth Kok, to be heard in the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) in late July 2024.

Jereth, a medical professional of more than 15 years, was suspended in 2019 by medical authorities for his conservative and Christian views on abortion, gender transitioning, and sexuality, which he posted on his personal social media.

He has never received a complaint from any of the thousands of patients he had treated during his medical career.

For five years, Jereth has been awaiting the Medical Board’s completion of its investigation so that he can defend the allegations against him. In that time he has been unable to practise medicine and has had to retrain and take up an alternative vocation to support his wife and young family.

For Jereth, the process has been the punishment:

“The greatest difficulty at first was the sudden dislocation and uncertainty. Suddenly I had no job, no income, and was cut off from my patients and workplace. I experienced tremendous grief on many occasions, thinking about my many patients who I’d gotten to know so well over so many years.

HRLA will represent Jereth as he defends himself against allegations that he is not a fit and proper person to practise medicine because of his religious beliefs.

As Jereth himself has discovered: “[i]t’s getting increasingly costly to hold unpopular religious beliefs”.

Pressure is mounting from all levels of society – government, institutions, large corporations, media and activists. More and more, Australians like Jereth are being compelled to endorse and affirm ideologies that fundamentally conflict with their faith and conscience, and being punished when they don’t.

Despite losing his career and being forced to retrain in a new one, Jereth and his family remain steadfast in standing up for religious freedom.