| 10.1°C Dublin

Doctor's emergency bleeper 'dumped'

A JUNIOR doctor facing allegations of professional misconduct repeatedly failed to answer a cardiac-arrest bleeper calling him to attend to a patient urgently.

A Medical Council Fitness to Practice hearing has heard that the bleeper was later found "dumped" in the outpatients' ward of University College Hospital Galway.

On a separate occasion, clinical blood test forms filled out by Dr Onada Olajide Onada were found in a rubbish bin.

Dr Onada was dismissed by the Galway hospital on March 21, 2011.

He now faces a total of seven allegations of professional misconduct, including engaging in harassing, inappropriate or intimidating verbal, email or SMS communications with up to four female colleagues.

Yesterday James Keane, the medical manpower manager for UCH Galway, told the hearing that when he raised complaints that Dr Onada had sent inappropriate texts to female colleagues, he "passed it off as if it was normal banter in the work place".

A later complaint made to Mr Keane by the hospital's switchboard supervisor, Angela Rowan, stated that Dr Onada had "dumped" his cardiac arrest bleeper on the first floor, a practice she described as "unacceptable".

Dr Onada told a disciplinary meeting held to discuss the matter that he had left the bleeper with his secretary.

The medical director of the hospital and Dr Onada's supervising consultant, who were present at the meeting, told Mr Keane they "were shocked that a cardiac arrest bleep would be left with a secretary or in an outpatients department".

"They said they had never heard of this in their history as doctors, that a cardiac arrest bleep was always handed from person to person," Mr Keane said.

Dr Onada failed to attend a subsequent meeting scheduled for January 18 despite being present in the hospital.


The following day, Mr Keane said it was put to Dr Onada that his explanation that he had left his phone at home was insufficient, "we put it to him that he was completely unreliable".

Mr Keane said it was decided that Dr Onada had shown such unreliability that the hospital couldn't rely on him to provide a safe service.

"We recommended that he be sent on administrative leave and that he be dismissed from his post."

Mr Keane remarked that in his 10 years in the job he had never before recommended the dismissal of a medical practitioner.

The hearing is due to resume in the new year.

Irish Independent