Unvetted foreign doctors lead to medical negligence claims

Medical negligence solicitors could be interested in the news that the Sunday Telegraph recently conducted an investigation which discovered that foreign doctors could be working in the UK without having their records checked.

One such doctor, South African Maurice Saadien-Raad, worked in UK hospitals for four years, committing medical negligence and leaving behind a trail of destruction. He prescribed the wrong drugs to patients who were seriously ill, sexually harassed female patients and preyed on nursing staff.

One depressed patient was conned out of £50,000 and he attempted to persuade a girl of just 17 to become his wife. Despite his behaviour, it was four years before the medical watchdog suspended him. To make matters worse, the father of one of his patients had already warned that the doctor was known to be a danger in both South Africa and Australia.

Saadien-Raad, who is now 63 years old, worked as a surgeon and GP in South Africa during much of the 1980s and 1990s. During that time, one patient was discovered to still have tonsils after he carried out a tonsillectomy and he attempted to do the same operation on another patient who no longer had tonsils.

He became a GP in Tasmania in 2001 but was sacked within a month due to concerns over his competence. By 2003, the doctor was working in the UK and even though the GMC conducted an investigation which found that he had not disclosed previous disciplinary action, he was not struck off. To make matters worse, he was able to move around the UK assaulting nurses and either mis-diagnosing patients or prescribing them with incorrect medication.

Luckily, the GMC has since tightened its rules but in excess of 50,000 foreign doctors are registered to work in this country who arrived prior to the changes, and they have not been checked. We could be set to see a new wave of medical negligence claims!

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