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Sunday 18 February 2018

Doctor on leave paid €38,839 while working in another job

Dr Gbolgagunte Olawuyi Raimi outside the Medical Council, Dublin yesterday. Photo: Mark Condren
Dr Gbolgagunte Olawuyi Raimi outside the Medical Council, Dublin yesterday. Photo: Mark Condren

Eilish O'Regan Health Correspondent

A DOCTOR who was on paid administrative leave after serious allegations were made against him managed to work in another HSE-run hospital for more than two months, it was learned yesterday.

He was paid a salary of €38,839 by the HSE while also earning large fees as a locum for the private agency Global Medics.

The extent of the doctor's stint as an agency doctor in Ennis General Hospital, Co Clare, while on leave from Kerry General Hospital, only emerged yesterday.

It was learned that managers in Ennis General were in the dark for 10 weeks when they hired Dr Gbolgagunte Olawuyi through a locum agency last year.

Dr Olawuyi appeared at a Medical Council hearing earlier this week to answer allegations that he worked in Ennis General as an agency doctor after he was placed on administrative leave in Kerry General Hospital.

The council ruled the allegations were true but they did not amount to professional misconduct because it was not proven he knew it was wrong to take both salaries.

However, it emerged yesterday that the Nigerian, who was working on a training scheme to become a psychiatrist in the Kerry hospital, was on a salary of €38,839 at the time.

Doctors earn generous fees of several hundred euros a day for working as agency doctors in different hospitals.

He continued to draw the salary after he was put on paid leave in July 2010 pending an investigation into a "serious matter" which was completed in November last year.

The HSE South yesterday refused to say what was the nature of the allegation against the doctor or what was the outcome of the investigation.

"The HSE cannot comment on individual cases but can confirm that robust HR policies and procedures are applied to deal with complaints as they arise," said a spokeswoman.

A spokesman for Global Medics, the locum agency which assigned him to the post in Ennis, was unavailable for comment yesterday and could not say what form of vetting was carried out.

A spokeswoman for the HSE in Dublin said junior doctors are prevented from working for locum agencies at any time -- whether on leave or not.

She said: "It would be prudent for a doctor to be paid the full salary while on administrative leave so that the disciplinary process can run its course."

Several hospitals remain heavily reliant on locum agencies to supply doctors in order to maintain medical cover.

Navan Hospital, which has a high number of agency doctors, paid out €471,588 for the month of October for all forms of agency staff. The bill covered work by doctors, nurses and administrative workers. Agencies are paid generous commission for the staff.

Irish Independent

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