Herefordshire doctor suspended after making ‘porky sausages’ comments to Muslim colleague

A doctor in Herefordshire has been suspended by a medical tribunal for making offensive comments to her Muslim colleague.

The Medical Practitioners Tribunal ruled that Dr Colathor Eshwari, originally from India, who practices at Hereford County Hospital, demonstrated hostility based on assumptions about her colleague’s race or religion, reported BBC.

The panel met between 27 February and 2 March and heard both Dr Eshwari and her colleague – referred to as Dr A – who is originally from Pakistan.

Dr A said to the panel that she arrived in Hereford from Pakistan in November 2019 as an international training fellow.

She alleged that when she moved into the hospital accommodation she had tried to introduce herself to Dr Eshwari but the latter had refused to give her name to her new colleague.

During that encounter, Dr A said that Dr Eshwari had muttered the phrase “porky sausages” more than once, which she took to be an insult.

Dr A alleged that there is a “poor relationship” between Pakistan and India that had led to Pakistan being subject to pork-related slurs in reference to Muslims not eating the meat.

Tensions between the two nuclear armed rival neighbouring countries have never really gone away in over seven decades since their independence from British colonial rule in 1947 and the creation of Pakistan after the partition of India.

Dr A also said to the panel that she poured some mineral water from a bottle into a kettle and that Dr Eshwari grabbed it, threw the water into the sink, and said: “Don’t make this kettle dirty with your dirty water.”

Dr Eshwari refuted Dr A’s claims and told the panel that she had been busy in the kitchen and in a “beastly rush” when Dr A arrived, but did not refuse to give her name.

She also said that during the events in question she had been searching the communal fridge for sausages, muttering to herself: “Where are the sausages?”

Refuting the allegations regarding the “dirty water” Dr Eshwati told the panel she poured away the water from the kettle on health and safety grounds, because it had come from a half-filled bottle and that she refilled it with tap water instead.

Dr Eshwari claimed in her defence to the tribunal that she did not know her new colleague was a Muslim from Pakistan.

She said that she was not “remotely interested”, but the panel did not accept that either.

The panel rejected Dr Eshwari’s defence and ruled that while the claim over the introduction could not be proven, it would uphold the other accusations against her.

It ruled that it was “more likely than not” she did make the “porky sausages” remarks and did say the words to the effect of “don’t make this kettle dirty with your dirty water”.

It also said that her actions were “inappropriate and had the potential to cause offence”.

The panel found Dr Eshwari’s fitness to practice had been impaired by reason of misconduct and suspended her for six months.