LONDON: A Non-Resident Indian plastic surgeon, who falsely claimed that his sister and uncle were killed in the September 11 terror attacks so that he could get time off from work, has been suspended for a year for telling lies.
After finding Dr Sidharth Sahni guilty of serious misconduct, the General Medical Council’s (GMC) Professional Conduct Committee ruled that his behaviour had been dishonest, misleading and unprofessional.
At a hearing on Friday, the Committee concluded that he had told a series of lies to get time off from jobs he held at three different hospitals and ordered him suspended from practice for a year.
“Doctors are expected to be honest and trustworthy. Dishonesty has no place in the medical profession. Dr Sahni’s conduct has fallen seriously short of the standards of the probity and integrity expected of a medical practitioner.
“And it could seriously undermine the trust that members of the public are entitled to place in the medical profession and its practitioners,” Dr Michael Vaile, the Committee Chairman, said.
Dr Sahni, who is from New Delhi and is believed to be in India, has not responded to any of the charges. He was ordered to attend a fresh hearing before the end of his suspension period.
The Committee heard that Dr Sahni was granted compassionate leave from his job as a surgical senior house officer at the Cross House Hospital in Kilmarnock, in south western Scotland, after telling staff his sister was on one of the airliners involved in the World Trade Centre attacks.
Dr Sahni also falsely claimed he was speaking at a breast cancer conference and that a flight he was booked on had been delayed, both to get time off, the Committee found. It also said Sahni’s resume was filled with lies.
Rewena Goode, counsel for the GMC, said Dr Sahni, while working at the Western Infirmary in Glasgow, told staff there that his uncle was a victim of the terror attacks in America.
The Committee also found Dr Sahni guilty of pretending to sit and fail a medical examination in London on June 9, 1999 to get a day off from his job as a senior house officer in plastic surgery at Shotley Bridge Hospital in Co Durham.
Dr Vaile ruled that the allegations against Dr Sahni, who was not present or represented during the hearing in Manchester, were so serious that neither a reprimand nor conditional registration would be sufficient punishment.