Sunday 25 February 2018

Doctor made me feel like dirt, medical inquiry told

Kevin Keane

A MOTHER has told how she felt like "dirt on the side of a shoe" after a doctor dismissed her concerns over her daughter's illness.

The woman had brought the three-year-old child to an out-of-hours GP service but claims she was told she was an "over-protective mum" and was "abusing the system".

She later made an internal complaint to the clinic against Dr Aoife Kavanagh, who faces six allegations of professional misconduct and poor professional performance in relation to her treatment of patients in the K-Doc clinic in Co Kildare between 2005 and 2010.

Among the other allegations is that she engaged in a "hostile and unprofessional" phone conversation with a patient, which led to a failure to reach a timely diagnosis of her medical condition from which the patient died later that day.

Dr Kavanagh is challenging the allegations and disputes the woman's account.

All of the allegations being examined by the Medical Council's fitness to practise committee are the result of complaints made to K-Doc.

The inquiry has heard the woman, who cannot be named, brought her daughter to the clinic early in the morning of December 8, 2009 as she was concerned that her flu-like symptoms were not improving following a consultation with a separate doctor days earlier.

The woman told the inquiry that after examining her daughter, Dr Kavanagh said there was nothing wrong with the child.

"I said there is, she's not right and she needs an antibiotic. She said I was abusing the system," the woman said.


The mother told the inquiry that after leaving the K-Doc clinic, she took her child to Portlaoise hospital where she was prescribed an antibiotic. She later wrote a letter of complaint to the K Doc service.

On foot of this, a medical examiner was later assigned the task of reviewing the case and supported Dr Kavanagh's decision.

A barrister representing Dr Kavanagh, Charles Meenan, said his client disputed the woman's version of events.

"Dr Kavanagh will say she never told you that you were abusing the K-Doc system. She did not and would not say something like that to you," he said.

The case has been adjourned until March 18.

Irish Independent

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