Intended for healthcare professionals


Surgeon who said covid-19 was a hoax has been suspended pending GMC investigation

BMJ 2020; 370 doi: (Published 06 July 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;370:m2714

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  1. Clare Dyer
  1. The BMJ

A consultant surgeon has been suspended from the UK medical register for 12 months pending the outcome of an investigation by the General Medical Council, after posting videos on social media claiming that covid-19 is a hoax.

Mohammad Iqbal Adil, who qualified in Pakistan, has worked in the NHS for nearly 30 years. He was suspended from the register in June by an interim orders tribunal after claiming in videos on social media platforms and in online interviews that the novel coronavirus has been orchestrated by the elite to control the world.

A GMC spokesperson said, “The interim orders tribunal imposed an interim suspension on Dr Adil’s registration, following our referral, to protect patients and public confidence. This interim suspension remains in place while we consider concerns about Dr Adil’s fitness to practise.”

Adil’s supporters have launched a petition on, which has garnered more than 600 signatures, calling on the GMC to reinstate him. The petition says that the GMC did not give him a chance to reflect on his video “when the entire world is confused about the novel virus.”

It points out that he has three children to support and adds, “UK needs doctors to work. It would not be in the best interest of the public and health system to lose [an] experienced and highly qualified surgeon like him.

“We, the doctors community within [the] UK and across the world, feel that it’s injustice to suspend Mr Adil on his personal point of view on the covid-19 without giving him [a] chance to reflect upon his video before enforcing suspension.

“We request to the GMC to revoke his unfair 12 months suspension . . . and allow him fair chance to work in this country [for the benefit of] the health system, communities, and medical graduates.”

A spokesman for the Royal Oldham Hospital said Adil had worked there as a locum surgeon and his temporary assignment had now ended.