London: A Syrian surgeon based in the UK is facing a medical tribunal over claims that he launched a series of racist rants against Indian doctors who he compared with “gardeners” and asked to “clean toilets”.
Ragheb Nouman is appearing before a General Medical Council (GMC) fitness to practice hearing this week over statements he allegedly made to members of staff and GMC investigators back in 2012 while he was employed at University Hospital of Hartlepool in north-east England.
“I am not racist, I have no problem with Arabs or Jews, only with Indians and the Indian population. Indian doctors will be the downfall of the NHS. They [Indians] are very bad and have given me a difficult time,” Nouman is believed to have said according to the local ‘Hartlepool Mail’.
“English Doctors are good, European Doctors are good, Jewish Doctors are good, just the bloody Indians. I have had enough of Indians,” he said.
It is also claimed that Nouman made remarks by telephone to a GMC investigation officer saying, “Is Mr [D] an Indian. I have been having many problems with Indian doctors. If Mr [D] is English then that’s ok. If Mr [D] is Indian, the complaint is a waste of time. The English are ok.”
“You must understand that Indian doctors complain about me because they are rude. Indians should clean toilets, not practice medicine. Indians should be gardeners,” he said.
In some emails, Nouman denied being racist but condemned what he called “bloody Indians”.
The GMC hearing in Manchester also heard that Nouman approached one of the complainants, known as Mr B, at a bus stop and allegedly said, “Does this man look like a doctor? You Indian bastard.”
Hewas suspended in May 2013 and in December 2013 a GMC assessment found his professional performance “unacceptable”.
“It is specifically about two doctors – Indian doctors. I’m not racist. I have friends from India. I have never ever been a racist doctor,” Nouman, who is representing himself, denied misconduct and told the hearing during the tribunal this week.
The hearing continues and a decision is expected later this month.