Kate McCann's lawyer Carlos Pinto de Abreu: ''If you were Portuguese this would be enough to put you in prison.''

5 Feb 2009

Doctors with major convictions still treating patients

THOUSANDS of patients are being treated by doctors convicted of serious crimes or punished for appallingly non-professional conduct.

The Sunday Express examined hundreds of files and uncovered scores of medics who are allowed to practise in spite of committing shocking offences.

Under the law all cautions and convictions given to doctors have to be examined by their governing body, the General Medical Council.

However, in many cases the GMC allows the disgraced medics to continue practising, while issuing a warning or temporary suspension.

A small number of court cases hits the headlines. Others, including cases of assault, drink driving, drug abuse and domestic violence, remain unpublicised and can only be found in the archives of the GMC website.

The Sunday Express examined details of misconduct hearings over the last year and our inquiries uncovered:

Two doctors allowed to work after manslaughter convictions.

An anaesthetist who watched a movie, read a newspaper and fell asleep during surgery.

A medic responsible for a hit-and-run car crash who was suspended for just nine months.

A doctor who punched a woman in the face who was suspended for three months.

A physician who failed to report his concerns about morphine doses administered by the serial killer Dr Harold Shipman.

Our investigation comes two years after the Shipman inquiry called for a radical overhaul of the GMC, which was accused of “looking after its own” and doing too little to protect patients.

Dame Janet Smith, who led the Shipman inquiry, recommended that the GMC no longer has sole responsibility for assessing doctors’ fitness to practise. The GMC says it has made wholesale changes, but our research indicates the reforms have not gone far enough.

In a previous interview Dame Janet said: “I am by no means convinced that new GMC procedures will protect patients.”

Magda Taylor, of patients’ group The Informed Parent, said: “Why would I want to go and see a doctor if he was a drug addict, done for manslaughter or had beaten someone up?"


Appalling non-professional conduct by the McCanns and Tapas 7:

Neglecting children, drugging children, faking abduction, framing an innocent man, lying to police, refusing to co-operate with the police, the fraudulent fund, hiding a body, perverting the course of justice... all of which is ignored by the GMC and UHL.

Would you want to be treated by one of these doctors?

Source: Newser and Times

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