A paediatrician who wrongly diagnosed Scots children with cancer to scare parents into paying for private treatment has been suspended while he awaits a decision on his future.
Dr Mina Chowdhury, 45, was found to have frightened three sets of parents into paying for private scans and tests at his Glasgow firm Meras Healthcare at a tribunal almost two years ago and this week he was found guilty of misconduct after the case finally resumed.
We told in May how the doctor had continued to rake in cash training other medics while his case was delayed considerably.
But the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) decided on Wednesday that Chowdhury’s registration is impaired and adjourned the case until next year, when it will decide whether he should be struck off.
The MPTS concluded in December 2019 that Chowdhury’s behaviour was “dishonest” and “financially motivated”.
It said it had been proved that during a consultation, Chowdhury informed a 15-month old child’s parents that they had a lump in her leg which was a “soft tissue sarcoma” and stated that he “knew a doctor in London” who could arrange for her to get an ultrasound scan, MRI and biopsy within a couple of days.
He was accused of telling the parents “it would be confusing to return back to the NHS”.
During another consultation with a 30-month-old boy’s mother Chowdhury said the result of a test result could be due to “blood cancer or lymphoma” and suggested treatment in London, saying there were “no places in Scotland where echocardiograms could be performed on children”.
He also suggested a course of private treatment that was “disproportionately expensive” without offering appropriate referral for NHS treatment.
During a consultation with a third teenage patient he told the girl’s mother that she had a “neuroblastoma in her stomach which could spread if left untreated”.
The MPTS found he told the girl’s mum they had to have a “serious conversation” that “all parents dread” before telling her: “We are going to talk about the ‘C’ word.”
He then told the mum her child needed blood tests and would need to travel to London.
Chowdhury, is an employee of NHS Forth Valley but the tribunal relates to his private work between March 2017 and August 2017, when he was found to have created “an unwarranted sense of concern” among parents.
Sources told the Record of their fury earlier this year that he had been teaching life-saving skills to oblivious candidates from up and down the country, paying thousands of pounds per session.
One medic, who attended a two-day training session in Glasgow fronted by the shamed doctor, said she was “disgusted” that Chowdhury can train dozens of candidates at a time who pay more than £500 to be there.
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Chowdhury’s registration was suspended for nine months on Wednesday and the tribunal continues in January.