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Surgeon’s suspension upheld after appeal

A Grande Prairie doctor will stay suspended from practicing medicine. Dr. Mohammed Al-Ghamdi had appealed the decision made last year, but it was upheld by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta council last week.

A College tribunal found the orthopedic surgeon guilty of eight counts of disruptive conduct in 2017, banning him from practicing for at least two years. It was alleged in his hearing that Al-Ghamdi’s behaviour from 2003 to 2013 led to some nurses and physicians signing a petition stating that they feared for their safety and would no longer work with him.

“The Hearing Tribunal heard from many witnesses that Dr. Al-Ghamdi’s complaints about his colleagues caused fear and distrust, and his complaints often went beyond his duty to report,” the appeal decision reads. “Despite his assertions that he was always trying to advocate for patients and improve patient care, the Hearing Tribunal found, based on the evidence, that Dr. Al-Ghamdi’s practices of recurrent reporting and launching legal proceedings intimidated his colleagues and caused distress in the working environment at the QEII.”

The surgeon appealed the original decision, questioning some of its assessments, findings, and orders, including costs. However, his case was dismissed.

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Al-Ghamdi’s licence and practice permit are suspended for three years, which could be dropped to two years if he takes part in a comprehensive assessment of his fitness to practice medicine and does any therapy recommended. He must pay more than $700,000 to cover the costs of his investigation and hearing, as well as the nearly $16,000 cost of his appeal within three years.

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