A radiographer registered with the Health and Social Care professionals regulatory body (CORU) in Ireland has been found guilty of professional misconduct following a public inquiry.
n inquiry held at the Dublin office of CORU, which regulates health and social care professionals, heard of allegations brought against Filipino national William Santos (43) while practicing at a hospital in the United Kingdom.
Mr Santos did not attend either day of the two-day inquiry despite efforts to notify him via both email and postal mail.
The committee heard from Eoghan O’Sullivan, legal counsel for CORU, that Mr Santos asked a female patient, referred to as 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."
The incident happened while the woman attended hospital for an MRI scan of her bowel.
Mr Santos contacted patient A via a private Facebook message following her appointment, writing: "Hi Patient A I apologise for what happened today I hope you aren’t going to hate me,'" the inquiry heard.
The allegations of professional misconduct relating to the comments made to patient A during her visit, and the subsequent Facebook messages amounted to professional misconduct, the inquiring committee found.
It also found the failure of Mr Santos to notify CORU that he was the subject of an inquiry and suspension order in the United Kingdom was a “serious contravention” of the act governing the profession here.
A report will now be produced and brought before the board of CORU with recommendations following the outcome of the inquiry.
Ahead of the committee's deliberating, Mr O’Sullivan told the committee that the dignity of patient A was paramount to the issues at hand and should be taken into account before delivering a verdict.
"She attended for an MRI on her small bowel and she was in a hospital gown when these comments were alleged to have been made to her," he said.
"Any sanction imposed has to be proportionate to the wrongdoing but it also must afford as much leniency as is possible [to the registrant]"
Mr O’Sullivan also said the failure on the part of Mr Santos to notify CORU that he had been suspended and subsequently struck off the register in the UK following a public inquiry called into question his "honesty and integrity".
“Mr Santos in order to behave honestly should have acted actively. He should have brought this information to CORU’s attention and his failure to do so gives rise to a question of honesty and integrity," he added.