Manitoba Tory candidate faces restrictions by College of Physicians and Surgeons
WINNIPEG -- Manitoba's Conservative leader is standing by a candidate facing new restrictions from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Manitoba -- 10 years after his licence was temporarily revoked for professional misconduct.
Brian Pallister said it's up to the voters of Tyndall Park, where Naseer Warraich is running for the Tories, to decide whether he's fit for public office.
"All of us have made mistakes. He's owned up to his," Pallister said Monday. "My concern is that we make sure that we give the people of that riding the opportunity to decide and they can weigh in on the situation."
Documents posted on the college's website say Warraich -- who is featured on the party's website wearing a white coat and stethoscope -- is restricted as to where he can practise, how many patients he can see and how he documents encounters with his patients.
At least one out of every 10 of his office charts must be reviewed by a supervisor and he is banned from supervising or teaching any students. The restrictions were put in place in January.
Pallister said Warraich disclosed the new restrictions on his practice after his nomination last September but wouldn't say what prompted the college's action citing Warraich's right to confidentiality.
"That will be up to Dr. Warraich to answer at every door he goes to. That's the ultimate in transparency," Pallister said before his aide cut off reporters' questions.
When reached Monday night, Warraich wouldn't say what led to the new restrictions on his practice.
"I don't have any comment," Warraich said. "I'm all right. I have no problem. I have not done anything wrong."
College registrar Anna Ziomek declined to be interviewed but sent an emailed statement saying the college is prohibited by law from providing details on what prompted the new restrictions.
Warraich's licence was suspended for two years in 2006 and he was fined $16,000 after he co-signed prescriptions for U.S. patients he had never seen. The prescriptions were for up to 20 pharmacies, the college found.
Some of the prescriptions were for animals, although Warraich is not a veterinarian.
The college said during its investigation that Warraich misled the college regarding how long he had been co-signing prescriptions and for how many pharmacies. He also initially told the college he spent 15 minutes reviewing patient information before co-signing a prescription.
The college said that in a later interview, "Warraich stated that, in fact, he had generally spent less time than that and sometimes as little as 20-30 seconds in reviewing each prescription."
Ziomek stated the new restrictions were not related to the 2006 disciplinary decision.
NDP Leader Greg Selinger said Warraich needs to be accountable for his actions to voters, but said Pallister has a role to play as well.
"It's up to the leader of the Conservative party to decide does he think that is a suitable person to serve the public when he's under very severe restrictions in how he practises as a doctor," Selinger said.