An NHS doctor lied to parents telling them that their children had cancer to frighten them into paying for expensive private care from his own company.
A watchdog ruled that Dr Mina Chowdhury gave false diagnoses for three children and then recommended scans and tests linked to his struggling Glasgow firm, Meras Healthcare, without referring the families to the NHS.
MSN reports: In one case, the 44-year-old paediatrician told a mum her two-year-old boy could have “blood cancer or lymphoma” and suggested treatment in London, claiming no hospital in Scotland could perform an echocardiogram on a child.
In a second case, he told a 15-month-old girl’s parents that she had a lump in her leg and it was a “soft tissue sarcoma”, the Daily Record reports.
Chowdhury told the parents a doctor in London could arrange for an an ultrasound scan, MRI and biopsy within days, the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) heard.
He told the mum of a teenage patient that she had a “neuroblastoma in her stomach which could spread if left untreated”.
Chowdhury told the mother to prepare for a talk that “all parents dread” before adding: “We are going to talk about the ‘C’ word.”
He told the mum that the girl would need to travel to London for blood tests.
After hearing the evidence, the MPTS ruled that the paediatrician created “an unwarranted sense of concern” for the three sets of parents and his behaviour was “dishonest” and “financially motivated”.
His business had been operating at a loss and was under “financial pressure”, the watchdog heard on Tuesday.
Chowdhury didn’t refer the child patients to the local NHS paediatric oncology department.
To steer them towards private care, he told the parents they would face long waiting times within the NHS and that certain equipment wasn’t available in Scotland.
He also altered medical notes.
Chowdhury worked for the NHS in Forth Valley, but the allegations relate to private work between March 2017 and August 2017.
When Chowdhury first went before the MPTS in Manchester in October, he denied attempting to heighten the concern of parents for his financial gain.
A panel will now decide whether his ability to practice as a doctor is “impaired” because of misconduct.
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