Friday 21 July 2017

Doctor struck off the medical register for prescribing drugs to people who weren't his patients

(Stock picture)
(Stock picture)

Tim Healy

A doctor found guilty of professional misconduct in relation to his employment in two different hospitals has been struck off the medical register by the High Court.

Dr Mohamed Elhassan, who is from Sudan, was found guilty of three counts of poor professional performance and four of professional misconduct following a Medical Council fitness to practice inquiry into his employment with the Cavan/Monaghan mental health service between January and June 2013.

Among the findings against him were that he prescribed antidepressants, benzodiazepines, and sleeping tablets to people who were not his patients or patients or the service.

Dr Elhassan, who told his supervisors he suffered from social anxiety and used benzodiazepines himself, admitted in correspondence with the Medical Council that prescribing the medications was a mistake, but that he had done so out of compassion for the people involved.

Immediately after leaving Cavan/Monaghan, when his contract was not renewed, he was employed in St Colmcille's Hospital, Loughlinstown, Dublin, as a senior house officer, a second fitness to practice inquiry heard.

That second inquiry found him guilty of professional misconduct by failing to state on his CV to the agency which employed him or to Loughlinstown hospital that he had worked in Cavan/Monaghan.

It also found him guilty of poor professional performance in relation to a number of matters, including prescribing of dosages of medicines and keeping accurate records.

JP McDowell, solicitor for the Medical Council, said following the first inquiry, it was recommended Dr Elhassan should be suspended for two years with 14 conditions attached to his registration when he returns.

However, Mr McDowell said, when the findings of the second inquiry came before the council, which was aware of the findings of the first inquiry, it decided it should recommend to the court that he be struck from the register.

President of the High Court, Mr Justice Peter Kelly, was satisfied the council made the correct decision and ordered that he be struck off.

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