The Irish Times reported that a doctor has lost an appeal over a finding against him of poor professional performance involving the care of a 28-year-old patient.

In the case of Ahmed v The Fitness to Practice Committee of the Medical Council & Ors (Unapproved) [2021] IECA 214, the Irish Court of Appeal (CoA) dismissed Saqib Ahmed’s appeal against the High Court’s dismissal of his challenge to the finding, made by a Medical Council fitness to practice committee in 2015.

His judicial review challenge was brought on grounds including there is no right to appeal Medical Council findings which don’t involve the attachment of conditions to a doctor’s registration.

Dismissing all the grounds of appeal, Ms Justice Donnelly, on behalf of the three-judge CoA, concluded there was sufficient evidence before the committee to reach a factually sustainable conclusion that the facts of the single allegation against him were proven and amounted to poor professional performance.

Dr Ahmed argued the finding of poor professional performance may have devastating consequences saying the finding against him was irrational and/or unreasonable, having regard to the evidence given at the hearing before the committee.

In November 2012, Dr Ahmed was a junior registrar in oncology in University Hospital Limerick when a 28-year-old man was transferred there from a district hospital.

A CT scan in the district hospital had shown a large abdominal mass which was apparently rapid growing. The patient had suffered for the previous six to eight weeks with abdominal and back pain, and weight loss.

Arising out of a complaint about Dr Ahmed’s treatment of the man, a Medical Council fitness to practice committee found in 2015 the doctor failed to request basic tests, including but not limited to, blood test, and/or urine, and/or kidney function.

As a sanction Dr Ahmed received an “advice” in writing from the Medical Council but it did not impose conditions on his registration.

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