Conditions attached to registration of doctor who allegedly made inappropriate remarks to patient

It was alleged the doctor sent the patient a WhatsApp message that he knew or ought to have known was inappropriate

Conditions have been attached to the professional registration of a male doctor who allegedly made inappropriate and personal remarks and sent a Whatsapp message to a patient.

The conditions, to be in place for 12 months, were applied to the registration of Dr Tahir Hussain on the application of the Medical Council.

Dr Hussain was working as a locum covering different GP practices in Dublin in 2018 when he had a consultation with a female patient, who is a nurse. It is alleged he made one or more remarks of an inappropriate or personal nature.

The court heard that it is also claimed that the doctor has been practising in Ireland since 1997 and told the patient about a relationship with an Irish girl.

A few days later it was claimed he sent the patient a WhatsApp message asking if she was well and said he had just thought of her.

Fitness to Practise Committee

The woman, who had visited the doctor’s surgery on August 3rd, 2018, complaining of palpitations and headaches, made a complaint about the doctor.

The complaint was referred to the Fitness to Practise Committee. Five allegations were before the committee, including that the doctor had provided his phone number to the patient and inappropriately told her she could text whatever or whenever she wanted and that he had obtained her number from the practice computer system.

It was also alleged he had sent the patient a WhatsApp message he knew or ought to have known was inappropriate.

Following an inquiry, the committee found the allegations amounted to professional misconduct and the doctor’s conduct fell short of the standards expected of doctors.

The committee recommended censuring the doctor in writing and attaching several conditions to his registration.

The conditions included that he work with a nominated person to perform a professional development plan designed specifically to address the deficiency in communication, interaction and boundaries with patients and to develop an appreciation of the effects his conduct can have on patients.

He must also meet a nominated person on a regular basis to discuss his progress, with this mentoring relationship to last at least a year.

Confirming the decision of the Medical Council to attach the conditions to Dr Hussain’s registration, High Court president Ms Justice Mary Irvine said that the committee noted the primary purpose of the sanction is to protect the public.

She saw no good reason not to confirm the Medical Council’s decision.