A long-time Penticton doctor has been suspended for three months by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia.

Dr. Jack Kooy, who was born in South Africa and moved to Canada in 1990, has been operating a family practice in Penticton since 1993. At present, he has about 3,000 patients.

"I was suspended by the college because I married an ex-patient, who is now my wife, and that is against college policy," Kooy said in an interview.

"I will be back at my practice in the middle of January and I'm sorry to my patients for the inconvenience."

Kooy's office will remain open, and in the interim patients will be cared for by locum Dr. Diana Silva.

Kooy's wife, Cheryl Slater, was briefly a patient of his. They've been married now for three years.

Kooy said he accepts the college's decision.

"College policy is you cannot marry an ex-patient or a current patient, that's breaking the policy and if you do, you get suspended. The college treated me with a lot of respect. I accept the decision completely."