LEWISPORTE — Patients of Dr. Rasheed Kadhem will have to depend on an on-call doctor for their medical needs for the immediate future.
Yesterday the RCMP issued a press release that Dr. Kadhem had been arrested on Dec. 19, charged with four counts of sexual assault involving a patient of the family physician.
Dr. Brenda Penney, of the Lewisporte Family Medical Clinic where Dr. Kadhem was a family practitioner, told The Pilot this afternoon (Dec. 21) that he is no longer practicing there. Edward Hollett, a spokesperson for The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Newfoundland and Labrador, confirmed as well that Dr. Kadhem has voluntarily withdrawn from practice. To resume practice in this province he would have to apply to the College and be approved by the council.
Dr. Penney could not say for sure how many patients Dr. Kadhem had on file. She did say they are trying to get a doctor to take his place, but she did not have any information to provide on who that would be or when that might happen.
For those patients who had appointments booked with Dr. Kadhem, Dr. Penney said there is not a doctor in place to keep those appointments, but the clinic is still functioning with normal hours of operation. Any patients of Dr. Kadhem seeking medical attention will need to visit the clinic to see the on call doctor as a walk-in or emergency.
Dr. Penney said they are still trying to determine how to manage the situation.
“So all I can say is he (Dr. Kadhem) is no longer practicing at this time here; the clinic will function as best we can and we will do the best we can do,” she said.
The clinic will close after today for the Christmas holiday, reopening on Dec. 27. Dr. Penney said it will be at least a week or more into the New Year before more details on what measures are being taken at the clinic will be finalized.
Dr. Kadhem had appeared in Provincial Court in Gander on Thursday in relation to the charges that allegedly date back to January of 2010. He was released and is to appear in court again on Feb. 12. In the meantime, the police investigation into this matter continues.