Wednesday 22 November 2017

'Aggressive' doctor at centre of inquiry accused of 'intimidation'

Stock picture
Stock picture

Liz Farsaci

A doctor was 'aggressive' and 'intimidating' with a mother and accidentally caused a burn injury to another patient during surgery, a disciplinary inquiry heard yesterday.

A number of colleagues expressed concerns over the doctor's ability to perform his duties just days after he took up a post, the inquiry was also told.

Dr Omar Hassan Khalafalla Mohamed, whose medical registration is currently suspended, is the subject of the inquiry at the Medical Council.

The Senior House Officer (SHO) faces several allegations relating to events claimed to have occurred while he worked at the Midlands Regional Hospital Portlaoise, Mayo General Hospital and University Hospital Galway. Dr Hassan denies the allegations.

One allegation claims that on September 24, 2012, while Dr Hassan was at Portlaoise, he unsuccessfully attempted to cannulate - or insert an IV line - into a patient several times, causing her pain.

The patient, a mother referred to as AK, told the inquiry yesterday she became distressed when he continued his attempts to insert the needle.

AK said she started to cry and a nurse comforting her left the room leaving them alone.

AK told the inquiry that Dr Hassan then leaned towards her and said: "You make no complaint about me or my work." AK told the inquiry: "I was taken aback by it."

She said she did not feel confident in Dr. Hassan's ability to cannulate her. "I felt he was a bit aggressive towards me. I felt quite intimidated," she added.

Dr Hassan apologised for the pain she had felt and said their main objective was to provide better care for her. "I didn't mean to hurt you," he said.

AK asked Dr Hassan if he remembered telling her not to make a complaint. "I do not recall saying that," he told her.

A nurse working in Portlaoise, Wilma Walsh, also told the inquiry that on September 17, 2012, in the operating theatre, Dr Hassan stepped on a diathermy pedal when it was not in use, causing a small burn injury to the patient's abdomen.

A diathermy pedal is an electrical instrument used to bind tissue and stop bleeding.

Giving evidence by telephone, the patient said she learned of the incident only after her sister came to visit her, read her medical notes and saw one of her bandages was for a burn. Dr Hassan yesterday apologised for the incident.

Eadaoin Cooke, who works in the medical manpower office - or HR department - in Portlaoise, told the inquiry a number of colleagues raised concerns regarding Dr Hassan shortly after he took up his post in Portlaoise on July 9, 2012.

The inquiry continues today.

Irish Independent

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