A public inquiry into the fitness to practice of a radiographer registered with the Health and Social Care Professionals Council (CORU) has started after allegations of misconduct from a patient in the United Kingdom.
Filipino national William Santos (43) is alleged to have made inappropriate comments to a woman - referred to as patient A to protect her anonymity - before later contacting her on social media in January 2016.
The woman was attending an MRI scan of her bowel when the incident is alleged to have happened.
During opening remarks from Eoghan O’Sullivan, legal counsel for CORU, who regulate health and social work professionals in Ireland, he described details of the complaint made.
Mr Santos, who did not attend the meeting at CORU’s Dublin office, is alleged to have told patient A: "Can I tell you a secret? I want to have sex with an English girl. If I had sex with an English girl, I would die".
"He then sent patient A a private message on Facebook saying 'hi patient A I apologise for what happened today I hope you aren’t going to hate me,'" the inquiry heard.
A number of witnesses gave evidence via video link during the first day of the inquiry including two detectives from Sussex Police Department who investigated the allegations
DC Donna Powell said Mr Santos “went on to say he felt the female patient was flirting with him as she was talking about her ex Filipino boyfriend” during an interview.
She added that he had “denied having sex with an English girl would be his fantasy”.
Mr Santo also told police officers that the comments were made “in gest” and said patient A had made “it clear that she was single and her ex-boyfriend was Filipino”.
Management at InHealth Ltd where Mr Santos worked when the complaint was made also gave evidence via video link to the inquiring committee.
Cheryl Barton, who is a senior manager with the company, which provides diagnostic services such as cardiograms and MRI scans to the NHS, said Mr Santos repeated that he “felt like she was flirting with me”.
In a transcript from the meeting with Ms Barton, Mr Santos told her; “I think the incident happened for me to learn something”.
The three person committee, which includes a registered radiographer, adjourned and is set to resume this morning when a decision is to be made.
It is not known whether Mr Santos worked in Ireland despite being registered with CORU.
Following an inquiry by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) in the United Kingdom, Mr Santos was subsequently struck off.
In his closing remarks yesterday, Mr O’Sullivan told the committee that the UK “found Mr Santos’s fitness to practise was impaired” and that he failed to notify CORU of their findings despite being obliged under Irish legislation.