Surgeon challenges outcome of GMC appeal

by Tim Tonkin

Regulator successfully disputed discrimination verdict

Location: England
Published: Wednesday 12 June 2024
surgeon omer karim

A surgeon, who was found to have been racially discriminated against by the GMC, has returned to court to challenge the regulator’s appeal of his case.

Consultant urological surgeon Omer Karim (pictured) is seeking to defend a 2021 employment tribunal ruling which found he had been unlawfully discriminated against because of his race during investigations and a fitness-to-practise hearing by the regulator.

Despite this ruling leading to an internal review and a pledge to tackle racial bias in its decision making by the GMC, the regulator successfully challenged the ruling at an EAT (Employment Appeals Tribunal) in 2023.

The BMA, which has provided support and assistance to Mr Karim following the GMC’s appeal, is funding this latest legal challenge, which is taking place at the Royal Courts of Justice, between 11 and 12 June.

Mr Karim’s legal team will argue against last year’s EAT ruling that there was a ‘lack of clarity or explanation’ as to the findings of racial discrimination in the result of the 2021 tribunal hearing.


Discrimination case

After being subjected to several investigations into his conduct by his former employer, Mr Karim was referred to the GMC in 2014, with the regulator finally carrying out a fitness-to-practise hearing against him after almost four years of investigation.

While the medical tribunal hearing ultimately found that Mr Karim had not committed any act of misconduct the surgeon, who was once a leading figure in robotic surgery for prostate and kidney cancer, succeeded in proving that he had been discriminated against.

The hearings at the Court of Appeal will conclude today, with a judgement expected later this year.


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