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Doctor Accused Of Misdiagnosing 208 Patients: Further Investigation Ordered

An overseas-trained doctor, Farid Zaer, who has registered himself as a general practitioner in NSW has moved on to Queensland, to continue his medical practice.// The doctor has been prohibited from practicing elsewhere as he has been accused for wrong diagnosis involving nearly 208 patients.

The doctor still holds the license to work as a GP, without any restriction or supervision. Under strict supervision, he can also work as a pathologist (one who examines tissue samples under the microscope).

A review of the medical records by the Illawarra Area Health Service (his former work place) found that he had failed to accurately diagnosis many medical conditions, including cancer. The inefficient doctor had over diagnosed 106 patients, under diagnosed 92 patients and wrongly diagnosed nearly 10 patients. Alarmed by the finding, he was banned from providing medical services to the organization, in the year 2004.

Following three months of this issue, the Hunter New England Area Health Service (where the doctor had worked for 2 years, 1999-2001) was notified. It was not until last month that the health care organization began to review the medical records of 7300 patients, diagnosed by Dr Zaer.

The conditions imposed on Dr Zaer's practice as a pathologist (NSW) was notified to the Medical Board of Queensland on September 29th, last year. His issue would be taken up for discussion in the Board meeting, scheduled to take place this month. This however, is not the first instance where something like this has happened.

'We never had any problems with his work as a GP. General practice is very different to the work involved as a pathologist. My understanding is that there was controversy regarding some of his diagnostic results while looking under a microscope, which is very different to what we do in general practice,' said Theo Aroney, centre manager, , where Dr. Zaer had been working until 2 weeks ago.

Dr. Jayant Patel, a surgeon trained in India was accused of 8 criminal charges, related to death of 13 patients and harm of nearly 30 other patients, at Bundaberg Base Hospital. In view of the heath risks to patients as a consequence of the wrong diagnosis, it is high time that the Medical Boards perform a critical analysis of the issue and take appropriate steps to prevent such gross medical errors, at least in the future.


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