Friday 18 August 2017

Doctor at centre of 'serious' probe was being paid on double by HSE

Dr Gbolgagunte Olawuyi Raimi outside the Medical Council, Dublin yesterday. Photo: Mark Condren
Dr Gbolgagunte Olawuyi Raimi outside the Medical Council, Dublin yesterday. Photo: Mark Condren
Luke Byrne

Luke Byrne

A DOCTOR was paid on the double by the HSE while under investigation over "serious" allegations.

Dr Gbolgagunte Olawuyi Raimi secured a second job at Ennis General Hospital while on full-paid administrative leave from Kerry General Hospital in Tralee.

The 32-year-old from Nigeria, but with an address in Co Meath, appeared at a fitness-to-practise hearing at the Medical Council yesterday, where he represented himself.

He was found not guilty of two allegations against him and guilty of two others. However the council found these did not represent professional misconduct.

Dr Raimi qualified in Nigeria in 2006 and passed an assessment to join the Irish medical register as a trainee specialist in psychiatry in 2009.

As part of the training, he began a three-year contract at Kerry General in 2010, but was placed on paid administrative leave on July 1 following a complaint against him.

The council was not presented with details of the allegation, nor the outcome of the investigation.

Giving evidence, area manager for Kerry General Michael Fitzpatrick said that he had advised Dr Raimi that he could attend job interviews while on leave pending the investigation.

But he said he was "absolutely surprised" when he found out that Dr Raimi had subsequently began working in Ennis while still employed in Kerry.

Dr Raimi took up a three-month contract as a locum senior house officer -- a junior doctor post -- from August 16 to October 31 at Ennis General.

"I thought it would have been clear that he could not work anywhere else at that time," Mr Fitzpatrick said.

He said that staff at Kerry were not often placed on administrative leave and that the allegations against Dr Raimi were serious.

The doctor had been advised not to appear on the hospital campus or to have contact with the patients while the investigation was ongoing, it was claimed.

In cross-examination, Mr Fitzpatrick admitted that he did not explicitly tell Dr Raimi not to take up another job.

Acting Ennis hospital manager Frank Keane told the council that "a significant failure on our part" led to them not spotting Dr Raimi's ineligibility for the position.

Mr Keane said that at the time the hospital was under "extreme pressure".. The hospital used agency Global Medics to hire Dr Raimi who also received a reference from a doctor in the hospital, with whom he had previously worked.

Mark Compton, recruitment manager for Global Medics, said that the register was checked and that Dr Raimi's name appeared on a transfer list indicating that he had been, or would be, added to the general practice division.

In his evidence, Dr Raimi said that it was his understanding that he had been told he could work while on administrative leave.

He said that colleagues had told him they had worked in locum positions while on leave.

"It makes me look irresponsible but that's not the case," Dr Raimi said of yesterday's case.

Dr Raimi also said that he had contacted the Medical Council to be placed on the general register prior to taking up the position in Ennis. He has since been placed on the general register and has worked in hospitals in Cavan and Navan.

Character references from his colleagues were presented to the council.

The council found that Dr Raimi was guilty of failing to tell Kerry hospital that he was working at Ennis.

It further found him guilty of working while not properly registered.

However, it found that it was not proved in either case that he knew, or ought to have known, that this represented professional misconduct -- and he was accordingly cleared.

The council also found Dr Raimi not guilty of knowing it was inappropriate to work as a locum in Ennis or to take a second wage, and accordingly this complaint was dismissed.

The HSE did not respond to requests for comment last night.

Irish Independent

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