Bathurst eye specialist suspended

A Bathurst eye specialist has been temporarily suspended by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of New Brunswick, pending the outcome of an investigation by the regulatory body.

Dr. Tarek Youssef, an ophthalmologist, is accused of performing unnecessary procedures, including cataract surgeries, said college registrar Dr. Ed Schollenberg.

"We have information from a number of sources," he said.

The issue was first raised with the college some time last year, said Schollenberg.

"We've been investigating this matter in various means for several months," he said.

Youssef, 43, has been suspended from practising since June 5.

He could not be reached on Wednesday for comment. His office telephone at 1794 Sunset Dr., just rings several times and then disconnects.

"Unnecessary surgery is a serious issue because it, you know, it may take advantage of patients when we expect physicians to always consider the well being of their patients first," said Schollenberg.

"So it’s a matter we have to take seriously and look at carefully."

Youssef, who has been practising in Bathurst part-time since 2003, will remain prohibited from practising in the province while the college investigates.

It's unclear how long that will take, said Schollenberg.

"It will take a while, that’s all I can say, and I don’t know what that means," he said. "It’s not going to be a week. It’ll be measured in weeks."

Meanwhile, Youssef is still practising part-time in Cornwall, Ontario, where he is also licensed, said Schollenberg.

"They've been notified of our investigation and they're assessing the matter," he said.

Following a review, the College can revoke or attach conditions to a doctor's medical licence. For example, it can require a doctor be supervised, or undergo additional training.

Youssef is originally from Kuwait and was trained in Egypt, said Schollenberg. Prior to setting up shop in Bathurst, Youssef was practising in the United States, Schollenberg said.