LONDON: A Pakistani doctor has not been fired from his hospital after assaulting a student nurse by claiming differing “cultural norms” were to blame for his actions.
The doctor, Imran Qureshi, 44, had grabbed the breast of a 21-year-old student nurse, only identified as Miss A, in a UK hospital ward and asked her to have an affair with him, the Daily Mail reported.
The student nurse was left “shaken up and distraught” and informed a tribunal that the attack had left her unable to focus on her studies or trust male co-workers.
Qureishi admitted his guilt, but blamed his actions on Pakistani culture which he claimed prevented him from seeing anything wrong with his actions. He had perceived his victim as “sexually available” as she had previously had boyfriends.
The father of two was compelled to sign the Sex Offender Register for five years due to his attack.
However, the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service in Manchester only handed him a 12-month suspension after he followed his “deep hearted apology” to Miss A with a statement that the incident was due to a “moment of madness and short, brief touching”.
The panel chairman Nicholas Flanagan said that Qureishi had displayed a “lack of empathy” towards his victim and that he should have known the difference in cultural norms due to “the length of time” he had been in the UK. Flanagan said that there was “a low but nevertheless not insignificant risk of harm to another individual by a repetition of your [Qureishi’s] behavior”.
However, the tribunal concluded that removing Qureishi’s name from the medical registry was not in the public’s interest. The offending doctor has now attended a course on maintaining professional boundaries.