Psychiatrist Maurice Saadien-Raad (aka Paul Fitzgerald) banned in three countries
January 23, 2012
On January 15, 2012, the Sunday Times of South Africa reported that psychiatrist Maurice Saadien-Raad, who has been banned from practicing in the UK, South Africa and Australia, was detected working in Cape Town under a new name.
In June 2011, the United Kingdom’s General Medical Council revoked Saadien-Raad’s license for misconduct, including inappropriate behavior with female patients and staff. Saadien-Raad, who is originally from South Africa, worked on a temporary basis at St. Michael’s Hospital in Warwickshire, England in 2003 and 2004. It was reported that Saadien-Raad pestered one St. Michael’s nurse with up to five calls a day, during which he would make inappropriate comments about her personal life. While employed at eight other UK hospitals during the three years after leaving St. Michael’s, he befriended a patient and persuaded the patient to give him 56,000 pounds and then made threats to kill him. Additionally, he attempted to get the patient to state he’d been driving Saadien-Raad’s car, in order to avoid losing his license for speeding. He also asked the patient to enter into a civil partnership so that Saadien-Raad could stay in the country. When the patient refused, Saadien-Raad asked him if he would ask his female friends to marry him and attempted to get a 17-year-old girl to marry him. He also befriended a deaf and seriously ill woman, persuaded her to loan him £6,000 and suggested they get married. Saadien-Raad also lied to the General Medical Council about his medical qualifications and his disciplinary record, which included his withholding the fact he’d been banned from practicing in South Africa in 2010 and was suspended there twice in the 1980s.
In summing up, the GMC panel stated: “Dr. Saadien-Raad is a thoroughly dishonest doctor who abused the trust the public places in the medical profession and used his privileged position to take advantage of others.”
Saadien-Raad also neglected to make these disciplinary actions known to the Tasmania medical regulators when he worked there for short spells in 1996 and again in 2001, when he departed suddenly, followed by a public outcry from patients unhappy with his care. In one case, a young boy became very ill after Saadien-Raad gave him a wrong vaccination. The Medical Council of Tasmania even sent a spokesman on Australian television to tell reporters it was “highly unlikely” the doctor would ever work in the country again.
The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency withdrew Saadien-Raad’s medical registration in May 2001, barely a month after it was issued.
In 2009, Saadien Raad legally changed his name to Dr. Paul Fitzgerald.
In late 2011, following the revocation of his UK license, Saadien-Raad, calling himself Paul Fitzgerald, took up practice again in South Africa but was tossed out his office at the Prosper Medical Center in Cape Town two weeks later when the landlord discovered his real identity.
According to the Sunday Times, Fitzgerald’s incompetence, tardiness and habit of asking administrative staff to help him analyze test results aroused suspicion. The landlord hired a private investigator to check his background, which uncovered a trail of misconduct spanning three countries.
Source: "Banned doctor caught in Cape Town," The South African, January 19, 2012; Aislinn Laing, "Disgraced doctor banned in UK practising in South Africa," The Telegraph, January 15, 2012 and Laura Donnelly and Ben Leach, "The disgraced doctor left free to prey on patients in UK," The Telegraph, July 10, 2011.
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