GP who had been drinking on the way to work is suspended from medical register
Inquiry found excuse that he had inhaled fumes from empty beer bottles “not credible”
Dr Zahir Mohamed, Mullingar, Co Westmeath, was suspended for three months after being found guilty of guilty of professional misconduct. Photograph: Alan Betson
A GP who crashed his car on the way to work after having been drinking has been suspended from the medical register for three months.
Dr Zahir Mohamed, Mullingar, Co Westmeath, had been driving to work in Athlone to begin a 12-hour shift as an on-call GP in August 2011 when he crashed on the M6 Kilbeggan off-ramp.
He failed a roadside breath test and was arrested, but when taken to the Garda station, he refused to give a blood or urine sample.
Dr Mohamed told a Medical Council fitness to practise inquiry last October that he had not consumed alcohol and that a mild concussion and fasting for Ramadan caused him to appear unsteady.
He attributed the smell of alcohol from his breath to having inhaled the fumes from empty bottles that were in the car he was driving. He also made allegations of racial discrimination and claimed he was refused medical assistance.
The committee members rejected his evidence and said it was not credible that the smell of alcohol from his breath could have been caused by empty beer bottles. They also said they were satisfied there were no bottles in the car.
They found him guilty of professional misconduct as he had been scheduled to work on the day of the crash and was under the influence of alcohol. His three-month suspension from the practitioners’ register was confirmed by the High Court last month.
Elsewhere, the High Court has confirmed a recommendation by the Medical Council that a Kildare GP should have conditions attached to his registration.
Dr Denis O’Dwyer had been found guilty of professional misconduct at a fitness to practise inquiry in January. He had prescribed tranquillisers for 18 months to a teenager who had addiction problems. The teenager, who was 15 when the tranquillisers were prescribed, had told the GP he could not sleep and was a recovering heroin addict. He did not say he was in drug support programmes. He overdosed on the tablets in August 2009 and was treated in hospital.
The inquiry found Dr O’Dwyer failed to take an adequate history, failed to provide appropriate treatment or refer him to a specialist and prescribed tranquillisers inappropriately.