Monday, June 29, 2020
LONDON: The UK's General Medical Council (GMC) has suspended the medical practice license of a British-Pakistani doctor who claimed that coronavirus was a conspiracy to control the world.
The GMC, which maintains the official list of medical practitioners in the UK, has changed Dr Iqbal Adil's reference number to suspended on its website.
"This person has been suspended from the Medical Register and may not practise as a doctor in the UK," the website states. It adds that he was neither on the General Practioner (GP) register nor the Specialist one.
"This doctor is not subject to revalidation [as] only doctors holding full registration with a licence to practise are subject to revalidation."
Having graduated from Bahauddin Zakaria University in 1986, Dr Adil worked in the UK as a specialist in colorectal and emergency surgery and laparoscopy.
He has also peddled various conspiracy theories in online interviews and on social media, claiming that the deadly virus was "orchestrated by the elite and is indeed a hoax".
In an interview to a news outlet, he said he had been working for the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK for almost 30 years and was dismissed because of political victimisation.
In various social media posts and YouTube videos, Dr Adil can be heard saying a vaccine was not a cure for the coronavirus viral disease while social distancing did not help either. Almost all videos carrying his conspiracy theory have been removed by YouTube.
Dr Adil — who has claimed to be among "the only medical professionals around the globe standing for people's fundamental rights during the current worldwide crisis" — was also criticised by his fellow doctors who reprimanded him for peddling misinformation about the disease.
Dr Adil's licence was cancelled in response to his various claims and calls for protests against the government.
In May, he had asked people to "join us at Parliament House London tomorrow at 10.00 am on 02/05/20 for your fundamental rights against the atrocity and devastating effects of the pandemic in the restoration of your freedom and livelihood".
In response to the cancellation of his medical practice license, the doctor set up a petition at Change.org, garnering more than 300 signatures. It states that he "is Chairman of All Pakistan Medical Association & Global Nishtarian Organisation (GNO) with a large number of medical graduates worldwide".
"Mr Adil has a family with 3 children to support. NHS UK need doctors to work. It would not be in the best interest of the public and health system to lose experienced and highly qualified surgeon like him," it says, stressing that it was "an injustice" to suspend his license over "his personal point of view on COVID-19".
It further adds: "We request to the GMC to revoke his unfair 12 months suspension [...] and allow him fair chance to work in this country [for the benefit of] the health system, communities and medical graduates at large."