Surgeon failed to inform of action against him in UK

Allegation of professional misconduct faced at fitness-to-practise inquiry


A surgeon whose brother was murdered in Pakistan faced an allegation of professional misconduct at a fitness-to-practise inquiry this morning for failing to inform the Medical Council of action against him in the UK.

When he registered with the Medical Council in Ireland in June 2011, locum orthopaedic surgeon Dr Faisal Siddiqui did not reveal that he had sanctions imposed on him by the General Medical Council in the UK in April the same year.

The UK organisation had attached conditions to his registration, including that he could not work in private practice and had to notify the UK authority before taking up a post in the national health system, Rory Mulcahy for the Medical Council said.

Allegations had been made against him related to his treatment of a patient with an Achilles tendon injury in April 2010 while working in Kingston Hospital, London.

The doctor, who had worked in Pakistan, the UK, Saudi Arabia and Ireland, had not attended the hearing against him and had not been represented at it.

Rosemary Mallon BL, for Dr Siddiqui, said her client fully accepted he was under an obligation to disclose that there were conditions on his practice in the UK, but that he did not.

She said, however, this did not amount to professional misconduct as there were mitigating circumstances. Dr Siddiqui had been under extraordinary pressure and stress at the time, she said, and there was no issue with his competency as an orthopaedic surgeon.

In evidence, Dr Siddiqui said on September 6th, 2010, his brother had been mugged in Karachi for his mobile phone and was shot fatally. In December his father died suddenly.

“He was very close to my brother and he just couldn’t take it,” he said.

After the deaths, “as a Muslim and a son in an Asian community”, it was his responsibility to look after his family, including providing means for his own family of three children, his mother and his brother’s family. The extended family was “falling apart” and he did his best, he said.

“I used to get flashbacks of my brother being buried ... I just couldn’t take it,” he said.

He travelled over and back to Pakistan, he told the inquiry, and when the complaint was made against him in the UK, he wrote a letter explaining he could not attend the hearing because of family circumstances. He told the UK authority to “suspend me or erase me”.

The 57-year-old also said he had never had any other complaints made against him, but in Kingston Hospital he had been disrespected and bullied. By contrast, the respect he got in Ireland “was immense”.

He did not inform the Medical Council about the issues in the UK because he was afraid for his livelihood, he said.

In closing statements, Ms Mallon described Dr Siddiqui as a devoted family man who had made “a bad mistake”, had “poor judgment” and was foolish, but had no malice and was not looking for personal gain.

The letter to the UK authority showed his state of mind at the time he registered with the Medical Council, she said.

Mr Mulcahy said the doctor had deliberately filled out the form incorrectly, was dishonest and had deprived the Medical Council of knowledge. That action was professional misconduct, he said.

The inquiry committee has adjourned to consider the case.