Overseas doctors feel the heat


The struck off doctors include an Indian GP who ran immigration scam, reports Asian Lite news

Nearly three-quarters of doctors struck off the medical register in Britain are foreign, according to shocking figures uncovered in a Mail on Sunday investigation. Medics who trained overseas have been banned from practising for a series of shocking blunders and misdemeanours.

Cases include an Indian GP who ran an immigration scam from his surgery, a Ghanaian neurosurgeon who pretended he had removed a patient’s brain tumour, and a Malaysian doctor who used 007-style watches to secretly film intimate examinations with his female patients.2000px-NHS-Logo.svg

The revelations come just a week after it emerged health bosses want to lure 400 trainee GPs here from India, to help ease short-staffing in the NHS. Julie Manning, chief executive of think-tank 2020 Health is reported to have said, “The NHS has thrived on many international doctors coming to work in the UK – but the public needs reassuring they are all truly fit to practise in the first place.”

Figures obtained by The Mail on Sunday via the Freedom of Information Act reveal that 460 doctors were struck off from January 2010 to December 2015. Of those 330 (72 per cent) were trained abroad, and 130 in the UK (28 percent). Foreign-trained doctors now make up a third of NHS doctors.

Indian GP Bhajanehatti Lakshminarayana, 71, was struck off after being caught abusing his position to help refugees and asylum seekers stay in Britain – for cash.  He charged them £80 a time to write letters containing false information supporting immigration applications.

Brain surgeon Dr Emmanuel Kingsley Labram, 61, from Ghana, repeatedly told a woman he had removed a tumour during an operation at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary when he had not. He actually only extracted four small fragments for biopsy. He hid the truth for two years. She only found out the tumour was still in her head after she went private – and was told it was inoperable.

Malaysian GP Davinder Jeet Bains used a ‘Spy Watch’ to covertly video consultations with female patients, some of whom he sexually violated while pretending to examine them. He is currently serving a ten-year jail sentence for offences against 27 women, aged 14 to 51.

Sudan-trained Dr Ashraf Kamal Elnazir, 55, swindled Kensington neighbour Gabriella Adler-Jensen out of £820,000. The widow was ‘in poor mental and physical health’ but he manipulated her so she bestowed ‘virtually the entirety of her estate’ on him. He was struck off in 2013 for ‘disgraceful misconduct’, but never convicted of a criminal offence.

Other cases involve appalling incompetence. Italian-trained GP Dr Alex Ihekwoaba Chimezie was struck off after he failed to spot heavily pregnant Donna Hunt, 22, had pneumonia and sent her home with paracetamol. Three days later, she was rushed into hospital. Doctors performed an emergency caesarean and saved the baby – but Miss Hunt died the next day.

British doctors too have been struck off for the most appalling behaviour. GP Stephen Hamilton repeatedly raped a girl, once strangling her until she passed out.

Of the foreign trained doctors who were struck off, by far the largest contingent came from India, followed by Pakistan and Nigeria. Dr Ramesh Mehta, president of the British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin, admitted ‘there is a problem’ with the high strike-off rate among foreign doctors. But he claimed racism played a part. Complaints about ethnic minority doctors tended to get ‘escalated and formalised’ very quickly, he said, while complaints about white British doctors were more often dealt with by ‘sitting down and sorting it out’.

Niall Dickson, chief executive of the GMC, was quoted as saying that the International medical graduates make a huge contribution to healthcare in the UK and the overwhelming majority provide safe and compassionate care. “But we do recognise that doctors from overseas can find it difficult to adapt to practising here. We expect employers to support doctors from overseas and to make sure they are familiar with local policies, procedures and customs,” he was reported to have said.