Eljamel campaigner on why victims should get compensation from Scottish Government

webnexttech | Eljamel campaigner on why victims should get compensation from Scottish Government

Patients of disgraced ex-NHS Tayside surgeon Sam Eljamel who suffered life-changing injuries at his hands say they deserve compensation from the Scottish Government. Leading campaigner Pat Kelly, who was harmed by the rogue doctor in 2007, warned the long-term toll on victims has been absolutely devastating. “I had to give up work due to chronic health-related issues along with others who are in the same boat as me,” Mr Kelly told us. The former Dundee DJ has suffered non-stop discomfort since his surgery, still has walking difficulties and is reliant on pain relief drugs to get through the day. Forced into early retirement in 2013 at the age of 54, he reckons he has lost up to £300,000 he would have been able to earn otherwise. “Patients have been in touch who have lost their mobility, health, jobs, homes, pensions, and marriages,” Mr Kelly said. “People are living in extreme poverty through no fault of their own due to this rogue surgeon.” For many of Eljamel’s victims, the constant pain they endure due to their botched operations has left them feeling alone. Hundreds of patients say they were harmed by the disgraced neurosurgeon between 1995 and 2013, when he was finally suspended. A public inquiry into the scandal was ordered by the Scottish Government last September after years of pressure from patients. “You become isolated, and you lose your friends,” said Glenrothes grandmother Theresa Mallett. “That’s how I’ve ended up being a virtual hermit.” Ms Mallett, who heckled Mr Yousaf to draw attention to the scandal, said she faced an “awful” ordeal to even access vital disability payments. It’s especially frustrating for her since she would still love to have a job if she was physically able to. She told us: “I want to work. It destroys you.” Medical lawyer Elizabeth Rose, who is representing more than 100 patients who say they were harmed by Eljamel, said a financial scheme to support victims is an “excellent idea”. She said: “It would mean that survivors would be able to obtain monetary compensation without the need of an adversarial process.” Mid Scotland and Fife Tory MSP Liz Smith, who backed a public inquiry, has quizzed Humza Yousaf over a possible fund for patients in Holyrood. The first minister pointed out a scheme already exists for members of the public who are harmed while in the care of the NHS. But Ms Smith insisted the government has a “moral obligation” to give more targeted support to patients who suffered at Eljamel’s hands. She said: “I believe it is essential that there is a victims’ fund. “None of us can imagine what it is like for the victims and their families.” A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “There are already established avenues for patients who have suffered as a result of the national health service to claim compensation.” READ MORE: Dundee University graduate Lord Weir to lead Eljamel Inquiry VIDEO: Eljamel victims stage coffin protest as new SNP health chief grilled EXCLUSIVE: Dundee mum needs regular facial Botox injections 20 years after Eljamel botched her surgery

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