A Dublin family doctor who was the subject of a public campaign to have him released from prison in 2018 after pleading guilty to tax offenses faces disciplinary action for failing to tell the Irish Medical Council (IMC) that he was a criminal had received conviction.
r Bassam “Sam” Naser, a family doctor with a practice in Sutton, admitted professional misconduct when he appeared before a hearing by the IMC Committee on Professional Fitness last week in connection with false statements he made in annual returns to his regulator had submitted .
The Palestinian-born doctor admitted not informing the IMC that he was the subject of a criminal investigation in a form filed in 2017 and that he had been convicted of a criminal offense in the following year’s form.
dr Naser, 54, a married father of seven from Howth Road, Sutton, Dublin, was sentenced to 16 months in prison by the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court in June 2018 after pleading guilty to two charges of failing to pay nearly €100,000 in income tax for the years 2006 and 2007.
IMC attorney Ronan Kennedy SC said the criminal convictions constituted violations of the Medical Practitioners Act 2007.
Mr. Kennedy said the offences, combined with the false statements made by Dr. Naser, is behavior that doctors of experience, competence and good repute would view as “disgraceful or dishonorable”.
He added that the doctor used an undisclosed bank account to hide income from his practice from the IRS, while the IMC only relied on newspaper reports of Dr. Naser’s criminal convictions. dr Naser, he said, has allowed financial concerns to prevail in a matter that has been a source of “regret, embarrassment and shame.”
The investigation found that Dr. Naser came to Ireland as a refugee from Palestine as a young boy and was first registered as a doctor in 1994. He had run his own clinic in Sutton since 2008 and was a co-founder of Northdoc’s out of hours doctor service in North Dublin.
The lawyer of Dr. Naser, Eileen Barrington SC, said he paid back €100,000 to the IRS during the court case and is now tax compliant. She said her client pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity, had no criminal record and had “very impressive references”.
The doctor’s secretary filled out the forms sent to the IMC, but Dr. Naser accepts that he should have made sure they contained correct information, she added.
The investigation heard several enthusiastic testimonies from patients of Dr. Naser, including one who called him “the best family doctor out there.”
Mrs Barrington said Dr. Naser is an excellent doctor who is dedicated to his patients and is loved by them. She said there were no concerns about protecting patients from his actions. The attorney added that her client was a strong advocate for his patients and often “went above and beyond the call of duty” in their care. She said dr. Naser was his family’s sole breadwinner and his imprisonment was “devastating” for them; He was subsequently declared bankrupt. She added that he also did community service at a drug treatment center after being released after 10 months.
The investigation revealed that as early as 2018, the IMC had considered registering Dr. to cancel nose.
“He is desperate to make amends for what he has done to his family, his community and his regulator,” Ms Barrington said. She pleaded for leniency and said it would not serve the medical profession to have Dr. Punish Naser twice for the same crime.
Professor Arnold Hill, a consultant surgeon at Beaumont Hospital, told the inquiry that the patients had an exceptional affection for Dr. nurture noses
Another family doctor and lifelong friend, Dr. Stan Natin said Dr. Naser was “a broken man” when he visited him in Loughan House’s open jail.
Interrogated by Mr. Kennedy, said Dr. Natin said he would not comment on a district court judge’s observation that the actions of Dr. Naser are “morally reprehensible”.
The 2018 jailing of the popular family doctor prompted more than 6,000 people to sign a petition demanding his release from prison and urging then-Attorney General Charlie Flanagan to intervene on humanitarian grounds, while the case was discussed in several editions of RTÉ live line.
Supporters included then Secretary of State for Disability Finian McGrath; Senator Frances Black; Riverdance director John McColgan and businessman Michael Wright.
The IMC said it would announce its findings at a later date but would not release its recommended sanction.
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/news/gp-faces-sanction-over-failing-to-disclose-conviction-41491450.html GP faces a sanction for not disclosing the conviction