The High Court dismissed the doctor’s challenge
THE High Court has dismissed a doctor’s challenge aimed at quashing a finding of poor professional performance made against him by the Medical Council while he worked at a Limerick hospital.
The challenge was brought by Dr Saqib Ahmed, who was the subject of a fitness to practice inquiry by the Medical Council arising out of complaint made when the doctor was working as a junior registrar in oncology at University Hospital Limerick between July and November 2012.
In 2015 the Medical Council committee dismissed several allegations of professional misconduct and/or poor professional performance made against the doctor, but did find that one complaint against him amounted to poor professional performance.
This was in relation to the allegation that Dr Ahmed, who had denied all the claims against him, failed to request basic medical tests including blood, urine and kidney function tests for a patient whom he saw on November 6, 2012.
As a sanction Dr Ahmed received "an advice" in writing from the Medical Council.
Dr Ahmed brought judicial review proceedings against the Medical Council, the Minister for Justice and the State aimed at quashing the finding and sanction against him.
It was brought on grounds including that the fact he had no right of appeal against the sanction imposed breach of his Constitutional rights and rights under the European Convention on Human Rights.
He also claimed there was a lack of evidence to make the finding against him, which he also said was irrational.
The challenge was opposed by both the Medical Council and the State respondents.
In his judgment dismissing the action Mr Justice Charles Meenan said there was "clearly evidence before the Medical Council inquiry upon which it could reach the decision it did". Dr Ahmed was not entitled to have the finding against him quashed, the judge said.
The sanction imposed on Dr Ahmed is the lowest sanction that could be imposed by the Medical Council, and the Judge said it did not limit or restrict the applicant's ability to practice medicine.
The Judge said the adverse consequences of the sanction of an advice that was imposed on the doctor were general in nature.
No particular adverse incidents arising out of the sanction were shown to the court.
While Dr Ahmed would have to inform future employers of the sanction, it could be assumed employers will be able to distinguish between the lowest sanction possible and something more serious.
In addition the Judge did not accept Dr Ahmed's claims that his constitutional or ECHR rights, such as his rights to a good name and had been breached.
The Judge added he did not find that the relevant sections of the 2007 Medical Practioners Act were unconstitutional as claimed by Dr Ahmed arising out of a lack of appeal against a sanction of an advice.
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