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“Cloak of secrecy” claims over probe probe into former surgeon Professor Muftah Salem Eljamel

Mr Eljamel during his time in Dundee.
Mr Eljamel during his time in Dundee.

The Information Commissioner (ICO) has been urged to lift a “cloak of secrecy” over a probe into a former Tayside surgeon.

Professor Muftah Salem Eljamel was investigated by the General Medical Council (GMC) after a patient underwent surgery on the wrong spinal disc.

Mr Eljamel, from Newport in Fife, relinquished his licence to practise ahead of the hearing in August and the retrospective investigation by the GMC subsequently collapsed.

Patrick Kelly from Dundee has been fighting for a public inquiry ever since, claiming he was a victim of a botched operation by Mr Eljamel following major back surgery in 2007.

Mr Kelly asked the GMC under freedom of information to disclose the number of complaints that had led to the interim conditions on his registration and after that failed has since asked the ICO to overturn the decision.

That too has now been denied on the grounds that it would “not be fair” to Mr Eljamel who “would be distressed” if the information were released.

The decision has left Mr Kelly demanding what he describes as a “cloak of secrecy” be lifted

He said: “I am absolutely furious with the response from the ICO. Again they, with full vigour, uphold the rights of Mr Eljamel while the rest of us shuffle around in the dark trying to get answers.

“For the life of me I cannot see what harm it would do to release these answers unless they don’t want to because it is too embarrassing for them.”

Following his interim suspension, a number of people came forward to say they had been left with long-term health difficulties after surgery by Mr Eljamel.

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