Doctor who worked in seven Irish hospitals failed to reveal that he had been struck off in UK
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A DOCTOR WHO worked as a locum in seven Irish hospitals since his arrival in Ireland in 2018 failed to disclose to the Irish Medical Council that he had been struck off the UK medical register two years earlier for substandard clinical performance and making racist remarks.© Sasko Lazarov RollingNews.ie
Dr Ragheb Nouman appeared before a fitness to practise inquiry on Tuesday to face allegations of professional misconduct and poor professional performance for informing the IMC that he was working in Romania when he was actually employed in the UK and subsequently having his name removed from the UK register in January 2016.
Nouman (58), who qualified as a doctor in Romania in 1991, is accused of providing information which he knew was untrue in his application form to register as a doctor in Ireland in April 2018.
The inquiry heard the doctor denied ever having been the subject of any disciplinary proceedings or complaint, or being struck off or suspended by any medical regulatory authority.
Counsel for the IMC, Eoghan O’Sullivan BL, said Nouman had also failed to declare that he had been registered in the UK and to provide details of jobs he held there.
“He erased all of his work history in the UK from his application entirely,” said O’Sullivan.
He said Nouman had not answered questions “candidly, honestly and correctly” which prevented the IMC from being able to properly assess his suitability to be registered in Ireland.
Nouman, who was suspended by the High Court from practising in Ireland since May 2019, is also accused of failing to comply with the IMC’s professional competency requirements.
The inquiry heard the 58-year-old father of three worked as a locum senior house officer for short periods in seven Irish hospitals between September 2018 and April 2019.
They were University Hospital Mayo, Castlebar; Connolly Hospital Blanchardstown; Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda; South Tipperary General Hospital, Clonmel; Wexford General Hospital; University Hospital Galway and Our Lady’s Hospital, Navan.
The IMC became aware of Nouman being struck off in the UK after a HR staff member in Our Lady’s Hospital, Navan spotted information about the case on the internet.
The inquiry heard that Nouman claimed his failure to notify the IMC about his work in the UK was “an innocent mistake” made while rushing to complete the application form.
On another occasion, he maintained that he did not feel the need to inform the IMC about “an unfair and abusive process” in the UK which was based on false complaints against him after he criticised an Indian doctor for smoking in front of patients.
Nouman stressed to the inquiry that he was not a racist and there had been no complaints about his work in Irish hospitals.
However, O’Sullivan said the case was not about whether Nouman was a racist but that he had made “a conscious and deliberate decision to withhold information” from the IMC.
The IMC barrister acknowledged that there had been no allegations about Nouman’s clinical performance in Ireland.
The inquiry heard that Nouman had applied to have his name restored to the Irish register last year but was informed he was ineligible.
An expert witness, Dr Niall Flynn, said it was “disgraceful and dishonourable” to knowingly mislead the IMC which prevented it from making an informed decision about his registration.
Nouman, who was born in Syria, was struck off the medical register in the UK in January 2016 after an inquiry found his clinical work “unacceptable” and that he had made racist comments about Indian people.
Among the claims made about Indian doctors by Nouman were that they would be “the downfall of the NHS” and should “clean toilets and not practise medicine” as well as claiming they were “untrustworthy, rude and cheeky.”
He also worked for the NHS in Scotland while he had been suspended by the UK’s General Medical Council.
The hearing was adjourned until next week.