Doctor suspended for three months

A doctor who submitted false expenses claims and moonlighted while he was supposed to be off sick from the Norfolk hospital at which he worked has been suspended for three months.

A doctor who submitted false expenses claims and moonlighted while he was supposed to be off sick from the Norfolk hospital at which he worked has been suspended for three months.

Dr Ossama Barakat, 37, claimed he needed the cash to pay for his sick father's operation and so he could send money to his orphaned niece and nephew.

At a hearing of the General Medical Council earlier this week he admitted to behaving in an “unprofessional and dishonest” manner by submitting false travel claims on four separate occasions to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, King's Lynn, where he worked.

A further accusation of claiming extra mileage on his daily journey from his home in Wymondham to Lynn was ruled not excessive by the GMC fitness to practise panel in Manchester.


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The father of two, who is working at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital in Norwich, told the panel he was deeply ashamed of himself and was desperate to continue working.

However, panel chairman Professor Brian Gomes da Costa, said: “The aggravating features are that you deliberately and dishonestly completed travel claim forms for expenses to which you were not entitled and undertook paid locum work on days when you had either reported sick or been granted study leave and that you did so on a regular basis over a period of nearly two years.”

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Initially it was thought Barakat had claimed nearly £3,000 in travel expenses but this was later reduced to £214.

Barakat's previous good character and the “modest” sum of money was taken into account in deciding the suspension.

Prof Gomes da Costa also said the panel recognised Barakat was going through a period of emotional turmoil at the time.

A further admission that he claimed for journeys he had not made between December 2004 and April 2005 and to working as a locum at another hospital while he was supposed to be caring for his sick wife were ruled not unprofessional or dishonest as he had never been told he could not work elsewhere.

Barakat said he needed the money to pay for his father's heart bypass operation in Syria and to support his niece and nephew in Bulgaria as their father, his brother, had been shot in the head and killed.

His father later died followed by his mother a few months later in March 2006 of breast cancer, he said.

He was suspended for three months from January 4, 2008.

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