Dr Abdulrazaq Abdullah has been suspended over claims he rubbed the woman’s breasts 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 Essex.
The woman, who is reportedly a victim of domestic violence, said she submitted to the 60-year-old GP’s will, but refused to have sex with him a second time.
She claimed Dr Adbullah, who today failed in a High Court bid to get back to work, 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.
After a criminal investigation of the woman’s claims, police said there was insufficient evidence to prosecute Dr Abdullah for rape or 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.
Top judge, Mr Justice Lindblom, has now rejected Dr Abdullah’s appeal against his suspension – which he ruled proportionate and necessary for the protection of the public – but reduced the period of his suspension from 18 to 12 months.
Emphasising that the woman’s claims are ‘at the moment mere allegations’ which had not been proved, the judge said whether or not she is telling the truth will emerge when she is put to the test at a full GMC disciplinary hearing.
Pointing to the overriding 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, going on to reduce the period Dr Abdullah’s suspension, the judge said the 18-month order made in July was ‘excessive’ and any longer than 12 months would be disproportionate.