An Indian ‘cancer specialist’ Manik Sharma was hired as a radiographer to treat cancer patients at Colchester Hospital but was fired after two months for his lack of competence and medical knowledge. The cancer specialist was hired from India following a a Skype interview for a Radiographer job, but has now been barred from practicing medicine for a year in the UK after it emerged he had only got the same experience as a first year medical student.
Manik Sharma was given the responsibility of treating cancer patients and was given a contract with Colchester Hospital following a successful Skype interview. But when he started work at the hospital, staff were stunned at his obvious lack of competence and knowledge and they had compared him to a first year student. After two months NHS bosses were forced to terminate his employment for the safety and well being of the patients.
Colleagues had said how they had ‘not seen such lack of fundamental knowledge’ and even that ‘he would need correcting by colleagues before using medical supplies‘. Staff would often go out of their way and duties to supervise Manik, because they knew he didn’t know what he was doing. The lead in the radiotherapy department of the hospital was the one who took the decision to report him to the Health & Care Professions Council in order to protect the public in the interest of patient safety. Mr Sharma- who would have received a salary of £34,000 a year, apparently frequently walked out of patients in the middles of consultations and treatments to make and take personal calls, which was against hospital regulations anyways. ‘He acted as if these weren’t the lives of real people and he seemed to take the biscuit sometimes.” One of the department’s nurses told us.
Chairman of the disciplinary panel said: “It was clear that Mr Sharma never reached a level of competence where he could practice autonomously. Further thought should have gone into the interview process before hiring any old bob off the internet. He never reached a stage when he could work without constant supervision. The panel has identified a number of serious deficiencies in Mr Sharma’s Practice.”
Mr Sharma was dismissed during his probationary period on the grounds of capability. New measures are being brought in to ensure the calibre of foreign doctors, they already have to face strict language tests before coming to work for the NHS. This is because of the tragic death of David Gray in 2008, the 70 year old was killed when Dr Daniel Ubani from Germany, gave him 20 times the legal dose of morphine. The German doctor said he was confused by the differences between English and German drugs. He had already been denied work in Leeds because of his poor English.