Doctors blast GMC referral of an International medical graduate (IMG) doctor as ‘misuse’ of the fitness to practise process.
Pulse reported that Dr Redouane Lammali, who qualified as a doctor in Algeria, was accused of being dishonest.
The Algerian-born emergency medicine locum was working at Lincoln County Hospital and was accused of lying to a healthcare worker about having asked the patient if they had taken paracetamol before attending A&E. The patient was then put on IV paracetamol, which the healthcare worker claims was prescribed by Dr Lammali.
The tribunal found that there was no evidence for any of this. There was no evidence Dr Lammali administered the IV paracetamol – it was likely done by an agency nurse – or prescribed it. There was no evidence a conversation along those lines had taken place with the healthcare worker, who didn’t mention it until hours after Dr Lammali’s shift had finished (and this alleged conversation didn’t form part of the Trust’s initial investigation).
Speaking about the case, it is reported that, the Doctors’ Association UK (DAUK) said it is ‘deeply troubled’ that this case made it to the MPTS, while the British International Doctors Association (BIDA) said this is an example of the FTP process ‘being misused and weaponised at the expense of an IMG’.
The GMC told Pulse that it is required to investigate all referrals which raise allegations about fitness to practise, and where the regulator’s case examiners cannot reconcile conflicting evidence about a serious allegation, the case is then referred on to the MPTS.
Chairman of the BIDA junior doctors forum Dr Sai Pillarisetti said:
‘It is clear that the basis for the referral was because one person’s opinion trumped that of an ethnic minority doctor.
‘Although the final outcome was positive for Dr Lammali, it does little to compensate for the years of stress and anxiety that this exercise must have caused him.’
Meanwhile, chairman of the British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (BAPIO) Dr Ramesh Mehta questioned ‘why the GMC should take three years for a silly complaint like this to get investigated and make it to MPTS’.
Dr Mehta added:
‘This is such a simple thing that could’ve been resolved so easily. I have absolutely no doubt that if it was a white doctor instead of this chap, this should not have gone anywhere at all.’
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