Siddiqi v Medical Council of Ireland

JurisdictionIreland
CourtHigh Court
JudgeMs. Justice Creedon
Judgment Date31 May 2019
Neutral Citation[2019] IEHC 686
Docket Number[2016/151 S.P.]

[2019] IEHC 686

THE HIGH COURT

Creedon

[2016/151 S.P.]

BETWEEN
DAWAR SIDDIQI
APPELLANT
AND
MEDICAL COUNCIL OF IRELAND
RESPONDENT

Poor professional performance – Conditions – Registration – Appellant seeking cancellation of the decision of the respondent to attach certain conditions to his ongoing registration following their finding of poor professional performance – Whether the sanctions imposed were reasonable and proportionate in all of the circumstances

Facts: The appellant, Dr Siddiqi, applied to the High Court for cancellation of the decision of the respondent, the Medical Council of Ireland, dated the 23rd March, 2016, to attach certain conditions to the appellant’s ongoing registration following a finding of poor professional performance in respect of certain matters by the Fitness to Practise Committee of the Medical Council. This appeal was confined to the conditions imposed pursuant to s. 71(c) of the Medical Practitioner’s Act 2007. The appellant argued that the court had three options opened to it: (a) to conclude that the appellant is not guilty of poor professional performance in which case no conditions apply; (b) accept the evidence of Dr Butt that any discrepancies in the appellant’s practise can be dealt with by him practising in centres with appropriate feedback mechanisms; and (c) accept the evidence of Dr Ellis that the conditions imposed by the Medical Council were “frankly very reasonable”.

Held by Creedon J that the Medical Council had established beyond reasonable doubt the correctness of the finding that the appellant had been guilty of poor professional performance in accordance with the statutory requirements set down in the Medical Practitioner’s Act 2007, as elaborated upon by Corbally v Medical Council [2015] 2 IR 304. In considering the correctness of the Council’s decision in relation to sanction, the Court looked to the case of Hermann v Medical Council [2010] IEHC 414, the facts of this case, the range of sanctions that were available and the evidence given by Dr Ellis at this hearing as to the reasonableness of the sanctions imposed. Creedon J found that the sanctions imposed were reasonable and proportionate in all of the circumstances.

Creedon J held that the Court would not accede to the application made by the appellant for cancellation of the decision of the Medical Council dated the 23rd March, 2016, to attach certain conditions to his ongoing registration following their finding of poor professional performance.

Claim dismissed.

JUDGMENT of Ms. Justice Creedon delivered on Friday the 31st of May, 2019: Background
1

This matter came before the High Court by way of an application by the appellant for cancellation of the decision of the respondent (“the Medical Council”) dated the 23rd March, 2016, to attach certain conditions to the appellant's ongoing registration following a finding of poor professional performance in respect of certain matters by the Fitness to Practise Committee of the Medical Council.

2

The case was heard over thirteen days between the 9th November, 2017, and the 22nd June, 2018, to facilitate the availability of expert evidence.

3

The appellant, Dawar Siddiqi, worked as a locum consultant radiologist at Bantry General Hospital from May to September, 2013. On the 5th December, 2014, J.A. McNamara, CEO of Cork University Hospital, expressed concern over the appellant's fitness to practice primarily in relation to his reporting on CT scans. Consequently, the respondent made a complaint to its Preliminary Proceedings Committee (“the PPC”) which, following investigation, referred the complaint to its Fitness to Practise Committee (“the FPC”) on the 30th July, 2015.

4

Following a five-day hearing which took place from the 25th November to the 1st December, 2015, the FPC concluded in its report on the 9th December, 2015, that Allegation 1 against the appellant was proven in relation to eleven of the twenty-two cases identified by Dr. Peter Ellis in his reports of the 1st July, 2015, and 8th October, 2015 (two of the cases were withdrawn on Day 3 of the hearing), and that the allegation as proven amounted to poor professional performance. Whilst the FPC noted that the circumstances that Dr. Siddiqi, the appellant, found himself in when he commenced work in Bantry General Hospital were far from satisfactory, they highlighted that he had been recruited on the basis of his competency and experience in CT on the basis of both his curriculum vitae and his interview when, on his (Dr. Siddiqi's) evidence, this was not the case.

5

Consequently, pursuant to s. 71(a) of the Medical Practitioner's Act 2007 (“the Act”), the Irish Medical Council, the respondent in this case, made a sanction decision at a sanction meeting on the 23rd March, 2016. They advised the appellant that they would be attaching certain conditions to his ongoing registration. The Medical Council attached seven conditions to the appellant's name remaining on the Register of Medical Practitioners following the finding of poor professional performance in respect of certain matters by the Fitness to Practise Committee of the Medical Council.

6

The following day (the 24th March, 2016), these conditions were communicated by letter to the appellant, Dr. Siddiqi, under the provisions of the Medical Practitioner's Act 2007. Dr. Siddiqi was advised in relation to his professional performance. To “advise” is one of the sanctions under s. 71(a) of the Medical Practitioner's Act 2007. However, that is not the subject of this appeal. It is the conditions that the Medical Council imposed in relation to the continuation of Dr. Siddiqi's name on the register maintained by the Council pursuant to s. 7(c) of the Medical Practitioner's Act, 2007, that are the subject of this appeal. They were outlined in the letter to the appellant Dr. Siddiqi as follows: -

“(1) You must work with a nominated person who is acceptable to the Medical Council to formulate a professional development plan specifically designed to address the deficiencies in the following areas of your practice; (a) CT reporting.

(2) You must work with a nominated person who is acceptable to the Medical Council to formulate a professional development plan to the Medical Council within three months of the date on which these conditions become effective.

(a) You must meet with your nominated person who is acceptable to the Medical Council on a regular basis to discuss your progress towards achieving the aims set out in your professional development plan. The frequency of your meetings is to be agreed by your nominated person who is acceptable to the Medical Council, supplying reports to the Medical Council about your progress when requested.

(b) You must agree to your nominated person who is acceptable to the Medical Council supplying reports to the Medical Council about your progress when requested.

(c) You furnish at the Medical Council's request evidence of your compliance with the conditions attached to the retention of your name in the register and agree to any such visit or inspection and/or report deemed appropriate by the Medical Council to confirm such compliance.

(3) You must be responsible for and discharge any and all costs involved in the implementation and compliance with the above mentioned attached to the retention of your name in the register.

(4) That these conditions attached to the retention of your name on the register remain in place for a minimum period of two years.”

7

While the Medical Council also advised the appellant, Dr. Siddiqi, in relation to his practise, it is accepted by the appellant that as far as this sanction is concerned, it cannot be part of the reliefs he seeks in these proceedings by reason of the provisions of the Medical Practitioner's Act, 2007, ss. 71(a), 74 and 75. This appeal, therefore, is confined to the conditions imposed pursuant to s. 71(c) of the Act.

Evidence
8

This case was heard over thirteen days between the 9th November, 2017, and the 22nd June, 2018. Evidence was given by the following witnesses;

9

Ms Orla Hannick Lennon, radiographer at Bantry Hospital, outlined to the Court that a radiologist is a medical doctor who is specialised in radiology for the purposes of interpreting images and diagnosing from those images. She said that 80% of her time is spent CT imaging and 20% time is spent plain film x- raying. She told the Court that she had been working in Bantry General Hospital since 2006. She said that in the Radiology Department there are two X - ray rooms and that one of these rooms doubles as a fluoroscopy room. She said that there was one ultrasound room and one CT scanner. In terms of staff, she told the Court that the allocation was 8.6 whole time equivalent staff however the actual number would always fluctuate up and down from this allocated figure. The staff was composed of one Radiology Services Manager who had overall responsibility for managing the unit, one Clinical Specialist Radiographer in CT scanning who takes overall responsibility for the CT. She said that at the time of this hearing this post was shared between herself and Aida Collins. There was also one Clinical Specialist Radiographer Post in ultrasound, one Senior Radiographer post and 3 basic grade posts.

10

She was referred to two documents while giving evidence. The first was a note of a meeting she had with Ms Jackie Daly. She said that she had phoned Ms Daly with concerns that she had about the CT service and how things were going within the X- ray department. She said that Dr. Siddiqi had asked her to sit with him and review CT scans on a number of occasions. She said in particular he would ask her to comment on CT pulmonary angiogram examinations and CT carotid angiograms. She said that she felt that despite what he said at the time, he had never done this as a means of furthering her own education as he would never...

To continue reading

Request your trial
1 cases
  • Siddiqi v Medical Council of Ireland
    • Ireland
    • Supreme Court
    • 26 March 2020
    ...on the applicant's registration as a medical practitioner. 11 The background is set out in detail in the High Court judgment. ( [2019] IEHC 686). Creedon J. held the applicant had been guilty of poor professional performance in accordance with the statutory requirements set out in the Medic......

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT