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Horror allegations RTE Investigates reveals doctor is accused of sexually abusing unconscious patients

One alleged victim recalls waking up in an usual position after a surgery

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Naas General Hospital in County Kildare (Niall Carson/PA)

Naas General Hospital in County Kildare (Niall Carson/PA)

Naas General Hospital in County Kildare (Niall Carson/PA)

RTE Investigates are set to reveal how an anaesthetist has been accused of sexually abusing unconscious patients in an Irish hospital on their programme tonight.

The programme, airing on RTE One, will share details of three separate investigations into complaints against a former anaesthetist who worked at Naas General Hospital.

The complaints were made against Dr Aamir Zuberi, who worked as an anaesthetist at Naas General Hospital since at least 2012.

Dr Zuberi is subject to ongoing investigations by An Garda Síochána, the HSE and the Irish Medical Council.

The Prime Time special also learned that the doctor has worked for several years at another Irish hospital prior to his employment in Naas.

One of the doctor's alleged victims, going under the pseudonym Michael to protect his identity, describes how he is struggling to come to terms with what allegedly happened to him.

"The anger for me turns into weakness, instead of me roaring and shouting, it takes my breath away, it makes me just feel weak, what can I do about it you know?”

In 2017, Michael was admitted to Naas General Hospital with persistent stomach pains.

He underwent a laparoscopic appendectomy, a process likely to take an hour and a half to two hours, but wasn’t returned to the ward until over nine hours later.

Two years later in 2019 Gardai contacted Michael and told him that several staff from the hospital had come forward with concerns. Several statements were made about the suspected sexual assault of him and others.

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Naas General Hospital

Naas General Hospital

Naas General Hospital

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Speaking about his post-surgery experience, Michael recalled waking up.

"I don’t know. Instead of waking up with two legs lying straight, I woke up with my left knee sticking up, like my foot was on the bed and my right leg my knee was sticking out the side of the bed flat.

"I didn’t think anything of it at the time because I was groggy, I woke up and obviously I went back to sleep.

"I don’t know, you know it is very difficult to be 100% - that is the worst part of all of this."

As the Gardai's investigation progressed, Michael was told that Dr Zuberi was placed on administrative leave by the hospital, pending an investigation. In 2019, Michael was told that the doctor had returned home to Pakistan.

As Ireland currently has no extradition agreement in place with Pakistan, the development has stalled in all three investigations into Dr Zuberi and the suspected sexual abuse.

Michael said he feels like the fight has been taken away from him.

“I mean that fight that you expect to want to have, I don’t have it, that has been taken away from me, I haven’t got the words to say how I feel about Naas Hospital. Nobody is accountable for anything, really,” Michael said.

Since returning to Pakistan, Dr Zuberi has been practicing medicine there, and was working at the Aga Khan Medical Centre in Singal, where he was the clinic’s anaesthetist.

"The fact they can’t get him back, it is just astonishing,” Michael said.

“To know that he was on the radar for that long, god knows how many procedures he went through you know being maybe one of the only few anaesthetists – so that is the sad part for me that he was allowed to slip through the net and disappear."

"I am scared of hospitals now,” he added. “If there is a crowd of people there, I’ll be okay I can’t explain it but if you are in a room all on your own you don’t know what’s coming through the door, you don’t know what’s going in your IV, you don’t know what’s happening anymore.”.

“Once that switch has been turned on, you can’t turn it off - even if I wanted to, I can’t. I can’t deal with trusting anybody anymore and it is not just hospitals, it is sort of everybody. I used to have a sort of social network, I don’t have any social network now, you know I don’t go anywhere, I don’t go out."

RTÉ Investigates - A Patient's Nightmare, airs tonight on Prime Time, at 9.35pm, on RTÉ One and RTÉ Player.

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