Haneef Colleague Sacked

Haneef colleague sacked
The Age (Melbourne)
August 24, 2007 – 4:59PM

An Indian doctor who admitted to falsifying his resume has been dismissed from his job at a Queensland public hospital and now faces possible deregistration.

Dr Mohammed Asif Ali was questioned and released without charge by the Australian Federal Police (AFP) last month as they investigated links between him and former terror suspect Dr Mohamed Haneef, who also worked at Gold Coast Hospital.

The AFP said on August 1 that Dr Ali remained a person of interest to investigators.

Queensland Health launched a misconduct investigation after Dr Ali – who was suspended on July 27 and is on leave in India – publicly admitted to forging parts of his resume relating to his work experience in India.

Queensland Health director-general Uschi Schreiber today said Dr Ali's employment with the department had been terminated, based on his admission he faked about three months of his employment history on his resume when he applied for his job at Gold Coast Hospital.

“In my view Dr Ali has been dishonest in the way in which he obtained employment as a medical practitioner in Queensland,” Ms Schreiber said.

“Dr Ali has conceded he provided this false information in the belief that it would increase his prospects of getting a job.

“This represents an intention to deceive Queensland Health to secure a personal advantage.”

The Medical Board of Queensland will meet on August 28 to consider cancelling Dr Ali's registration.

Dr Ali's medical qualifications had been thoroughly checked by the Medical Board and independently verified, Ms Schreiber said.

He met all the clinical assessments by senior doctors at the Gold Coast Hospital during his time there, she said.

Dr Ali's lawyer Neil Lawler spoke to his client by phone today and said Dr Ali and his family were very disappointed.

“He is disappointed with the news, as you would expect,” Mr Lawler said.

“His family is also very disappointed with the news as they were planning to emigrate.”

Mr Lawler conceded the sacking would likely lead to the cancellation of Dr Ali's working visa, and had potentially ended any prospect of his client returning to work as a medical professional in Australia.

“While the decision relates only to Queensland, it would be hard to see any other states granting him registration after this,” he said.

Mr Lawler said the decision by Queensland Health seemed somewhat heavy-handed, but believes dismissing his client may have been the easiest decision given Dr Ali's association with Dr Haneef.

“I might be a little cynical about all that,” Mr Lawler said.

“But Queensland Health took a long time to come to this decision, so I hope it was made in the proper way for the right reasons.”

A Queensland Health ethical standards unit report has gone to police, the Crime and Misconduct Commission and the Medical Board.

A police spokesman declined to comment.

The CMC said it was “satisfied all appropriate inquiries have been undertaken and appropriate conclusions drawn”.

The matter has also been referred to the immigration department.

AFP Commissioner Mick Keelty told reporters on August 1 that Dr Ali remained a “person of interest” to investigators following his questioning over the Haneef case.

“He has remained so since day one and he will continue to be a person of interest until we satisfy ourselves that we know everything that we should know about Dr Ali,” Mr Keelty said then.

Immigration Minister Kevin Andrews this week refused to confirm whether Dr Ali was still being investigated over his links with Dr Haneef, citing national security.

Mr Andrews urged the Queensland government to check whether Dr Ali's falsification of information was an isolated case.