Claims doctor backed al Qaeda

A doctor at the centre of a Medical Council inquiry was described in internal HSE correspondence as being “radicalised” and a supporter of al Qaeda.

A fitness-to-practise inquiry into Pakistan-born Saqid Ahmed heard that the letter, written in April 2014, said Dr Ahmed’s colleagues were “concerned about how he was becoming increasingly insular”. It added that “he became radicalised and even spoke of his support for al Qaeda”.

Details of the letter, written by director of human resources at University Hospital Limerick, were read out by Dr Ahmed, who is representing himself by telephone from Michigan in the US.

He is contesting eight allegations of professional misconduct and/or poor professional performance arising out of his time as a registrar or junior doctor at the oncology clinic of the hospital between July and October 2012.

These include that he put patient safety at risk by failing to attend a ward round; that he left the clinic without permission; that he failed to order chemotherapy for a patient despite being requested and reminded to by the hospital’s chief oncology pharmacist; and that he failed to order a series of medical tests for a seriously ill patient when instructed to do so by a senior colleague.

He also faces a number of allegations of responding in an aggressive and angry manner to at least three of his senior colleagues when they sought to discuss his performance.

The inquiry has heard an internal HSE investigation carried out after Dr Ahmed was placed on administrative leave in November 2012 found he was unable to accept guidance and had contempt for even his most senior colleagues. The stage four review by two senior physicians found him to be “arrogant, dismissive, and uncaring”.

Professor Rajnish Gupta, medical director for cancer services at the hospital, told the inquiry that he felt Dr Ahmed, who was still in a training position, would go on to be a danger to patients, to himself and to colleagues if he was allowed to continue.

The inquiry continues.


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