Fayette County

Lexington gynecologist has medical license revoked

A Lexington gynecologist has had his license to practice medicine revoked by the Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure.

Dr. Hamid Sheikh was accused of having a dirty office, not giving women proper pain medication during procedures and other violations of standard medical practice.

An administrative hearing was begun in the case on Nov. 5, but the hearing was concluded the following day after Sheikh, who was representing himself, notified the board that he was not going to continue attending.

As a result, the board issued an order April 29 revoking his license, saying that Sheikh had "defaulted by refusing to continue."

Sheikh, who has performed abortions at his Lexington office since 1975, said in an interview that he decided not to go back for the second day of the hearing because he had already decided to retire, he had received a death threat that morning and he thought the proceedings were biased against him.

"The witnesses were trained to lie," he said. "I said, this is not a fair trial. ... It's better to be punished by default."

Sheikh said he had decided to retire for health reasons just days before the board issued an order suspending his license last summer, and he said he did not renew his medical license this year.

"Actually, I don't have a license to revoke," he said.

Sheikh's license to practice was suspended last June, after an investigator for the state attorney general's office said she found "expired medications, un-sterile equipment, unsanitary conditions, missing or inoperable equipment" and other issues while conducting an investigation into alleged Medicaid fraud at Sheikh's office in the Physicians Mall on Shaker Drive, according to board documents.

One woman told investigators Sheikh did not take her medical history, check her vital signs or verify that she was pregnant before performing an abortion.

"She was given a Valium for the pain, which did nothing. During the procedure the pain was unbearable and she fought them and kicked over a tray. After the procedure she was given a stained sheet to cover with and taken to another room," the documents state. "There was no 24-hour wait or state-mandated information on abortion provided."

In an interview Tuesday, Sheikh denied any wrongdoing.

"Nobody ever suffered," he said.

He produced numerous letters from patients in support of his practice, many of them from women who had seen him for gynecological care for years. Most wrote that the office was dated but not unclean.

"My office was perfectly clean, sanitary," Sheikh said.

He said there were expired medications in his office, but they were never given to patients.

Sheikh was indicted in November 2007 by Franklin Circuit Court on four counts of defrauding the Medicaid program. Investigators allege that he performed abortions and then charged Medicaid for them, billing them as ultrasounds for normal pregnancies.

Medicaid covers abortions only under very specific circumstances.

Sheikh said he did conduct ultrasounds, which are covered by Medicaid, on pregnant patients as a routine part of their care. Sometimes, after the ultrasound, he said women decided to have abortions, for which they were charged $400 separately. He said the state Medicaid program had told him the practice was acceptable.

He has yet to be tried for the alleged offenses.

"I did not do any criminal activity," Sheikh said.

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