Macular Society welcomes GMC ruling on Harley Street surgeon

The Macular Society has welcomed a decision by the General Medical Council (GMC) to stop Harley Street ophthalmologist Bobby Qureshi working as a doctor.

The Society submitted a complaint to the GMC in 2017 after receiving more than 50 telephone calls to its Advice and Information Service complaining about Mr Qureshi. The Society said it had been concerned Mr Qureshi had cheated patients and was operating on people inappropriately.

Mr Qureshi carried out eye operations to implant his patented lenses into dozens of patients with age-related macular degeneration (AMD), including EastEnders actress June Brown, the Society explained.

The Tribunal found Mr Qureshi made false claims that he could improve vision by his surgery and allowed the use of pressure selling techniques to persuade patients to undergo the surgery. Among the claims that Mr Qureshi made to patients were that they would be able to ‘drive a car’ again.

Cathy Yelf, chief executive of the Macular Society, said: “We welcome the decision to stop Mr Qureshi practising as a doctor. The GMC found that he repeatedly misled people about the benefits they would get from his lens implant and he charged them many thousands of pounds knowing that he could not restore their sight.

“It has been deeply distressing and very shocking that a doctor could be found to put profit ahead of his patients’ safety and wellbeing to the extent that Mr Qureshi did.

“He exploited extremely vulnerable people who were desperate to save their sight, knowing that he could not deliver on his promises. These people were willing to spend their life savings because they believed he could help them keep and even restore their sight. It is truly heart breaking that they were given such false hope.”

Cathy added: “We would strongly urge anyone thinking of undergoing any new treatment purporting to reverse the effects of macular disease to speak to their own macular specialist or contact our Advice and Information Service on 0300 3030 111 or email to check that it is safe.

“At present, there is not enough evidence to know how useful lens implants might be for people with macular disease and more research is needed in this area.”

The Macular Society is funding a new clinical trial, starting later this year in Northern Ireland, which will test a new type of implanted magnifying lens for people with advanced macular disease.