Gardaí investigate alleged sexual assaults on unconscious patients by anaesthetist

Doctor worked in Irish hospital system for a number of years before returning to Pakistan

Nurses at the hospital became concerned about the doctor and a number made statements to the gardaí. Photograph: iStock

Gardaí are investigating alleged sexual assaults on unconscious patients at Naas General Hospital by an anaesthetist.

The anaesthetist, Dr Aamir Zuberi, worked in the Irish hospital system for a number of years, having worked in another major hospital before taking up his position in Naas.

He has since returned to Pakistan where he was working up to last week, according to an investigation by RTÉ’s Prime Time Investigates.

Ireland does not have an extradition treaty with Pakistan.


Efforts to contact Dr Zuberi, who is also the subject of an inquiry by the Medical Council, were not successful.

In a statement the Garda Press Office said that an investigation into a number of reports of sexual assault at a hospital in the east of the country was ongoing and includes liaison with Interpol. It was not in a position to comment further, it said.

According to the Prime Time report, due to be aired on Tuesday, an unidentified man who went in for a procedure in April 2017 was contacted by gardaí at Naas almost two years later to be told they were investigating a possible sexual assault.

Nurses at the hospital became concerned about Dr Zuberi and a number made statements to the gardaí, according to the programme.

The alleged victim who spoke to Prime Time was out of the ward for nine hours for a procedure that would normally take one and a half to two hours.

The anaesthetic given to him included a drug – midazolam – that stops people remembering what happened to them while they were under anaesthetic, according to the programme.

Administrative leave

The doctor was put on administrative leave after concerns were raised. The alleged victim, who spoke to Prime Time, said he was told by gardaí in the summer of 2019 that Dr Zuberi had left the country.

A total of four alleged sexual assaults are being investigated based on concerns raised by staff because of what they witnessed, according to the programme. The sex of the other three victims was not disclosed.

“The hospital can confirm that they have contacted and have been in communication with three patients affected and tried unsuccessfully to contact the fourth,” the hospital said in a statement, adding that it was available at any time to speak to the fourth alleged victim.

It said it has been strongly advised that it cannot comment as to do so would unfairly prejudice the outcome of an ongoing Garda investigation.

“The hospital takes allegations of this nature very seriously and is fully engaged with the gardaí.

“In addition, Naas General Hospital have a strict reporting policy for its staff and where a serious allegation is raised they follow the Trust in Care Policy and take their responsibilities in that regard very seriously.”

Where appropriate, allegations are referred to An Garda Síochána and the Medical Council, the statement said.


The Medical Council, in a statement, said that on March 20th, 2018, following an application by the council, “the High Court made an order which embodied an undertaking by Dr Zuberi not to engage in the practise of medicine until resolution of a complaint before the Medical Council”.

“That complaint has yet to be determined and the Medical Council cannot comment on an open investigation.”

According to Prime Time, the High Court order applied only in this jurisdiction. Notice was given to other EU member state medical organisations about the undertaking, but not to Pakistan. The council may now take further action.

Dr Zuberi is still on the registers of doctors in Ireland and in Pakistan. According to Prime Time, he resigned from the Aga Khan Medical Centre, in Singal, Pakistan, last week.

The programme requested a comment from him but got no response. It was also in contact with the centre in Singal.

Naas hospital said that anyone with concerns could contact it during business hours at 045-849570.

Colm Keena

Colm Keena

Colm Keena is an Irish Times journalist. He was previously legal-affairs correspondent and public-affairs correspondent