Censured surgeon 'too busy to send report'
Published 16/03/2010 | 05:00
A SURGEON who refused to supply lawyers with a medical report on a road accident victim, claiming he was too busy running a surgical practice, has agreed to be censured by the Medical Council for professional misconduct.
John Flynn (69) had claimed there was "collusion" between the medical and legal professions to make money from medical reports in court cases.
And the locum consultant had argued that getting involved in court proceedings disrupted his medical practice.
However, he gave an undertaking to meet all requests for such reports in the future during a Medical Council fitness-to-practice inquiry yesterday.
Mr Flynn, who works in Portiuncula Hospital in Ballinasloe, Co Galway, was previously censured by the council for failing to supply a medical report in a case involving a victim of a road traffic accident in 1998.
Yesterday's inquiry heard it took him four years to provide a report to solicitors Garrett J Fortune & Co after treating a 14-year-old boy injured in a road traffic accident in October 2003.
He later issued proceedings against the vehicle's driver and the Motor Insurance Bureau in the Circuit Court.
Between 2005 and 2008, solicitors for the boy made repeated requests for a report. Mr Flynn refused to answer the correspondence, even when the firm said it was unable to progress the client's case without the report. The firm made a formal complaint to the Medical Council in 2008.
But in a letter submitted to the council in June last year, Mr Flynn said his contract did not include any responsibility to deal with "medico-legal work".
"I could not run a proper surgical practice by wasting my time attending cases that were either settled or could have been without my attendance," he wrote.
"There has been collusion between the legal and medical profession to generate income."
Chairman of the inquiry, Richard Brennan, said the surgeon's undertaking showed he accepted it was the ethical duty of a doctor to provide a medical report for a patient.
The ruling will now go before a full hearing of the Medical Council for confirmation.