A Birmingham surgeon who had Hepatitis C put his patients at risk by carrying out invasive operations despite it being against Department of Health rules, the General Medical Council heard yesterday.
Mohammad Qamar Sarwar-Rana, of Kings Heath, is accused of serious professional misconduct over 18 procedures he either carried out or helped with, including circumcisions and a vasectomy, where his blood could have infected the patient, a hearing in London was told.
New guidelines issued by the Government in August 2002 banned health workers with Hepatitis C from carrying out exposure prone procedures - operations where there is a risk that injury to the worker could result in bare blood getting into the patient's open tissues.
But the GMC Fitness to Practice panel heard that Mr Sarwar-Rana was involved in the operations between August 19, 2002, and December 18, 2003, despite being Hepatitis C positive and in all but one case did not tell the consultant he was working with that he had the virus.
His behaviour in locum posts as a staff grade in urology at the King George hospital, Goodmayes, a senior health officer in urology at the Solihull Hospital, a registrar in general surgery at the Pilgrim Hospital, Lincolnshire and a registrar in urology at Bradford Teaching Hospital NHS Trust, was "inappropriate and misleading" it was alleged.
It was also not in his patients' best interests and a risk to their health, the panel was told.
Mr Sarwar-Rana admits he knew he had Hepatitis C between April 2001 and December 15 2003 and did not tell the consultants involved in the surgery.
He also accepts playing a role in all but one of the operations, but denied he had performed any exposure prone procedures.
A letter written defending his actions in autumn 2002 said he had not been aware of the guidelines "immediately" and in February that year he had indicated that he knew about them, the GMC heard.
Counsel for the GMC, Ian Stern, said he had gone on to perform operations at the Bradford hospital late in 2003 despite being forced to leave the Pilgrim Hospital before that after his condition was discovered.
Staff there found out he had Hepatitis C after he applied for a job as a permanent assistant in general surgery and gave a consultant surgeon, a Mr Absoud, documents about himself which contained the information.
"In going through them Mr Absoud saw a letter that indicated that the doctor had Hepatitis C."
Mr Stern said Mr Absoud immediately telephoned the doctor who did not deny having the virus.
The Human Resources Department was then contacted, but when a worker there spoke to Mr Sarwar-Rana he "thought that he could just carry on as before".
Mr Sarwar-Rana claimed the agencies he had got locum work through knew about his condition, the hearing was told.
But Mr Stern said it was "almost an irrelevant issue" because it was his responsibility to ensure that he did not carry out exposure prone procedures. Mr Sarwar-Rana denies serious professional misconduct.
The hearing continues.