Doctor who said kids had cancer to scare parents out of cash struck off

Dr Mina Chowdhury of Glasgow was found to have behaved with 'persistent dishonesty' which was 'financially driven'.

Doctor Mina Chowdhury who scared parents into paying for cancer tests struck off medical register iStock

A doctor who misdiagnosed children with cancer to scare parents into paying for expensive private treatment has been struck off the medical register.

Paediatrician Mina Chowdhury, who ran the Meras clinic in Glasgow, told families their children had cancerous conditions and then recommended expensive tests in London without appropriately referring them to the NHS.

In 2017, the 45-year-old told a parent that a lump on her daughter’s leg was a soft tissue sarcoma and that he knew a doctor in London who would arrange for an ultrasound scan, an MRI scan and biopsy done within days.

On August 18 the same year, Dr Chowdhury told another patient and her mother she had a “neuroblastoma in her stomach which could spread if left untreated”.

The tribunal heard the paediatrician then said: “We are now going to have a serious conversation. We are going to have the conversation that all parents dread. We are going to talk about the ‘C’ word’.”

Dr Chowdhury qualified in 1998 from Glasgow University. He held a number of paediatric posts culminating in becoming a full-time consultant in paediatrics and neonatology at NHS Forth Valley in 2013.

The General Medical Council brought a case against Dr Chowdhury to the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Services which found him guilty of misconduct.

Dr Chowdhury was suspended and the hearing reconvened in January 2022.

On Friday, July 15, the hearing concluded and it was determined that Dr Chowdhury would be struck off the medical register.

The ruling stated that there was an “inescapable conclusion” that Dr Chowdhury’s actions were financially motivated.

It read: “The Tribunal is driven to the inescapable conclusion that Dr Chowdhury acted as it has found in order to increase the income or reduce the losses of his business and that all his actions were therefore financially motivated.”

It also determined that there had been “persistent dishonesty in a number of areas which Dr Chowdhury has not fully acknowledged nor fully admitted”.

The tribunal determined the only appropriate and proportionate sanction in the case was to remove Dr Chowdhury’s name from the medical register.

It added: “Only a sanction of erasure was sufficient to protect, promote and maintain the health, safety and wellbeing of the public, to promote and maintain public confidence in the medical profession, and to promote and maintain proper professional standards and conduct for members of the profession.”

Dr Chowdhury has 28 days to appeal the decision.

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