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GP's disgraceful acts to group of women patients

AN Irish-trained doctor who touched a female patient for his own sexual gratification has undertaken before the High Court to withdraw his licence to practise in Ireland and never apply for it again.

UK-based Dr Rashid Motala (58), who qualified from the Royal College of Surgeons in Dublin in 1984, was found guilty last year by a Medical Council Fitness to Practise Committee of professional misconduct in relation to three patients.

The committee held the South Africa-born doctor had, in November 2007, removed a woman patient's trousers without seeking any or adequate consent to do so and he then rubbed or tipped her groin, side and bottom. This was done for his own sexual gratification, the committee found.

It was also held that, in January 2008, he required the daughter of a sick woman to give her mother an injection in circumstances where she had no medical training to do so. He also left a container of diluted diamorphine, a controlled drug, on a window sill in the same patient's house.

Uninvited

He was also found guilty of offering to carry out an uninvited vaginal or rectal examination of a patient, in May 2008, and of providing the same patient with his email address. He denied the patients' claims.

The incidents occurred while he was working in the UK where its General Medical Council held an inquiry over the same allegations and recommended that he be suspended for 18 months.

However, the UK Supreme Court ruled that because he retained his registration here such suspensions could not be relied on in Ireland and a separate hearing had to be held here. In December, the Irish Medical Council recommended his registration be cancelled.

Yesterday, the council asked High Court president Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns to confirm that cancellation recommendation.

Dr Motala's lawyer asked the judge to only impose conditions on his registration as had been done in the UK.

The court heard if his registration was cancelled, it would mean his insurance with the Medical Protection Society in Britain would also be cancelled.

Penalty

Mr Justice Kearns said that would take away his capacity to go on working notwithstanding the fact that a penalty of an 18-month suspension was deemed sufficient in the UK.

The judge also noted he had not appealed last December's cancellation recommendation within the required 21-day period. The "penny only dropped" for him when he became aware he would lose his insurance cover if cancellation was confirmed and he might have to pay the costs of yesterday's High Court hearing, the judge said.

Gabriel Gavigan, for the doctor, said even though he had not appealed within the required time, the court still had the option of imposing conditions on his registration rather than cancellation.

Following a brief adjournment, PJ McDowell, solicitor for the Medical Council, told the court that it had been agreed between the parties that the court would not confirm the cancellation and the doctor will undertake to immediately withdraw from the register and never apply for re-registration in this jurisdiction again.

The judge said that was a sensible and equitable solution.

hnews@herald.ie


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