Doctor said kids had cancer to ‘scare parents into paying for tests’

Dr Mina Chowdhury was suspended while he awaits a decision on his future.

Doctor said kids had cancer to ‘scare parents into paying for tests’ iStock

A doctor who misdiagnosed children with cancer to scare parents into paying for expensive private treatment has been suspended while a decision is made on his future.

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

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

On March 14, 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 in a couple of 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.

In 2014 Dr Chowdhury set up the Meras clinic in Glasgow to provide private paediatric care.

Between March and August 2017, the tribunal heard, Dr Chowdhury scared three families with false diagnoses and suggested private medical tests and investigations in London.

Financial accounts showed his private clinic had been operating at a loss for two years.

The MTPS determination 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.”

The tribunal also determined he had been dishonest and his fitness to practise was impaired.

An interim order of suspension on the doctor’s registration for nine months was imposed with a date set for January 2022 when the hearing will reconvene to determine whether or not Dr Chowdhury will be struck off or not.

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