Smith indicated in a brief interview this week that Shahzad was placed on probation after the suspension and allowed to admit patients to the hospital.
During the probation of the last several months, fellow doctors attempted to assist Shahzad in getting up to speed with the standards with which he was not complying, Smith said. However, the medical executive committee, which had monitored Shahzad closely during the probation, concluded that he was still failing to meet those standards and decided to recommend his application for medical staff privileges be declined, he said.
“Despite numerous collegial interventions and opportunities for compliance, Dr. Shahzad was unable to become and remain compliant with the standards that govern the rest of the medical staff,” Smith said.
The hospital administraton is working with medical staff members and other practitioners to make sure that those patients of Shahzad who have been admitted to McDowell “experience a seamless transition to other caregivers on the hospital medical staff,” he said.
Smith said Shahzad may still order lab work and other diagnostic tests from McDowell and its affiliate medical facilties. He also stressed that the hospital’s action does not affect the status of Shahzad’s medical license or prevent him from continuing his medical practice in Danville.
On Tuesday, Shahzad issued a statement to the paper in response to the hospital’s action.
“I would love to take care of my patients at Ephraim McDowell Regional Medical Center as I have been doing for the last 13 years,” said the 47-year-old physician. “I was not given any other choice by the current administration at the hospital but to leave the medical staff as of Sept. 26.”
Shahzad said his departure from the medical staff has caused “serious anxiety in my patients as (evidenced) by calls to my office Monday and Tuesday” and has “affected my ability to provided needed health care to my patients in this community.”
Shahzad said he will admit his patients requiring hospital care to James B. Haggin Memorial Hospital in Harrodsburg, where he is on the medical staff. He said his patients will receive “excellent” care at Haggin.
“Thanks to everyone who has supported me, and I pray that God bless them and that he bring peace to those people who don’t like me for unknown reasons.”
In an interview, Shahzad acknowledged that he did not keep medical records of some of his patients up to date but said he had generally complied with the standards governing medical records.
“I sometimes didn’t write the time here or the date there,” he said. “No one can be perfect 100 percent of the time.”
He said the most important standard for a physician to comply with is providing good patient care.
“As far as patient care is concerned, no one can find fault with me,” he said. “In fact, I have been commended for the level of care I provide my patients by the physicians and administrators at Ephraim McDowell.”
Shahzad estimated he has a caseload of more than 27,000 patients from Boyle and surrounding counties.
“Over the years, I have admitted and cared for thousands of residents from this area to Ephraim McDowell,” he said. “Now I will be admitting them to Haggin Memorial.”