Doctor struck off register for failing to keep up with professional competency

Judge agreed with Medical Council that the action was essential for public safety

Despite hundreds of letters and emails to him, Dr Syed Munir had a history of non-engagement with the Medical Council’s professional and disciplinary requirements, the court heard. File photograph: David Sleator

Despite hundreds of letters and emails to him, Dr Syed Munir had a history of non-engagement with the Medical Council’s professional and disciplinary requirements, the court heard. File photograph: David Sleator

 

A doctor has been struck off the medical register by the president of the High Court after he was found guilty of misconduct by repeatedly ignoring requirements to keep up to date with his professional competency.

Mr Justice Peter Kelly said Dr Syed Munir, a senior house officer in the anaesthesiology department of Blanchardstown Hospital, Dublin, had been “given every opportunity to put things right”.

However, he had ignored the Medical Council and acted in breach of conditions previously imposed on him in an effort to get him to comply with professional competence requirements, the judge said.

The judge agreed with the Council his striking off was essential for public safety.

JP McDowell, solicitor for the Council, said this was the third disciplinary process against Dr Munir since 2015.

Despite hundreds of letters and emails to him, the doctor had a history of non-engagement with the Council’s professional and disciplinary requirements, Mr McDowell said.

Dr Munir had sent an email last Friday saying he would be unable to attend court on Monday as he was unwell, the court heard.

Mr McDowell said Dr Munir, who qualified in Pakistan in 1991 and lives in Clonee, Dublin 15, was subject some years ago of a professional competency audit.

He did not participate in that audit and as a result in 2015, a Council Fitness to Practise Committee imposed conditions on his registration including that he comply with ongoing competency obligations.

He failed to carry them out and there was a further inquiry in 2017 which resulted in the Council recommending his suspension from practice for six months. When those six months expired, he was still required to engage with professional competency schemes.

He again failed to do so and another inquiry found him guilty again of misconduct with the result that, last November, the Council recommended his striking off.

Apart from failing to comply with professional competency requirements, he was also found guilty of submitting paperwork to the Council in which he answered ‘Yes’ to questions about taking part in competency schemes and saying ‘No’ to a question of whether he had ever been the subject of sanctions.

Mr Justice Kelly said these seemed “extraordinarily stupid answers” when they were being provided to the Council which was responsible for them in the first place.

The judge noted the president of the Council took a more severe view of what Dr Munir did, saying it was dishonesty.

The Committee, in recommending cancellation of registration, described the doctor as a “serial offender” who represents a risk to the public.

Mr Justice Kelly said he saw no good reason for not striking Dr Munir off the register and he confirmed the decision of the Council. He also directed the relevant authority in Pakistan be informed of the decision.