‘Sick note for sex’ Rainham doc remains suspended, despite denying wrongdoing
A Rainham family doctor accused of forcing a vulnerable patient to have sex with him as the price of a sick note has failed in a High Court bid to get back to work.
The domestic violence victim claims Dr Abdulrazaq Abdullah rubbed her breasts for no reason and told her the only way he would sign her off sick was if she had sex with him at his Rainham Health Centre, in Upminster Road South.
Faced with losing her benefits if her sick note was withdrawn, the woman says she submitted to the 60-year-old GP’s will but refused to have sex with him a second time, although he paid her �40 and told her to come to him if she needed money.
Dr Abdullah, who has a blemish-free professional record, absolutely denies the woman’s claims which he says left him “extremely shocked”.
Pointing to inconsistencies in her account, he says it is so “full of holes” and “patently flawed” that it simply cannot be believed.
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After a criminal investigation of the woman’s claims, police said there was insufficient evidence to prosecute Dr Abdullah for any other sexual offence and the local primary care trust also decided not to suspend him, London’s High Court heard
However, the General Medical Council (GMC) took a different view and, in July, suspended the GP from practising medicine for 18 months pending a full disciplinary investigation.
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Judge Mr Justice Lindblom rejected Dr Abdullah’s appeal against his suspension - which he ruled proportionate and necessary for the protection of the public - but reduced the period from 18 to 12 months.
Emphasising the woman’s claims are “at the moment mere allegations” which had not been proved, the judge said whether she is telling the truth will emerge at a full Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) disciplinary hearing.
Pointing to the need to maintain public confidence in the medical profession, the judge said the allegations faced by the GP were “indisputably very serious” and were not so vague or inconsistent as to justify no action being taken.
He concluded: “In my view, therefore, the decision to suspend in this case was sound. Its rationale is cogent and I agree with it.”
However, he said the 18-month order made in July was “excessive” and any longer than 12 months would be disproportionate.