A doctor who falsely diagnosed children with cancer to scare their parents into paying for scans and tests at his private healthcare firm has been struck off.
Dr Mina Chowdhury left three families terrified for the wellbeing of their children by claiming they could have serious illnesses including cancer, heart issues and problems with their immune system.
A medical tribunal heard the paediatric consultant steered the parents away from free NHS treatment and refused to let the families GPs know what treatment he had decided on.
Last week a Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) panel banned him from practicing medicine, after finding that his behaviour was ‘financially motivated’.
He also gave the families an ‘unwarranted sense of concern without clinical justification’ the panel found, as it hit out at his ‘persistent dishonesty’.
An investigation found Dr Chowdhury had acted misleadingly towards three families between March 2017 and August 2017.
At the time he had been worked for NHS Forth Valley, which provides services in the Falkirk and Stirling area of Scotland, although the families affected had interacted with him while he was in a private practice.
During a consultation with one family he told them their child had cancer on their leg and that referring them back to the NHS ‘would be confusing’.
He told another family that high levels of ‘B cells’ in their toddler’s body could be due to blood cancer or lymphoma.
He told this second family he knew of a place in London that would offer treatment for the cancer, without any form of clinical justification, and falsely claimed that nowhere in Scotland would carry out an echocardiogram (ECG) – a type of heart scan – on children.
The tribunal heard he also suggested a course of private treatment that was ‘disproportionately expensive’, without offering a referral for NHS treatment.