Sunday 20 May 2018

Doctor who 'mistook an ankle for an elbow' claims evidence was organised to 'discredit him'

Hits back at claims he 'mistook an ankle for an elbow'

Dr Omar Hassan Khalafalla Photo: Gareth Chaney / Collins Photos
Dr Omar Hassan Khalafalla Photo: Gareth Chaney / Collins Photos

David Kearns

A doctor found guilty of 28 counts of poor professional performance and six counts of professional misconduct has hit back at claims he mistook an ankle for an elbow.

Dr Omar Hassan Khalafalla Mohamed (30) claims the Medical Council Fitness-to-Practice inquiry which found against him last night after hearing eleven days of evidence was organised to discredit him, following his attempt to expose colleagues working under falsified documents.

The bizarre claim was made during an interview with RTÉ’s Liveline, where Mr Hassan denied all allegations made against him during the Medical Council hearting.

Asked about alleged instance in which he mistook an X-ray image of an ankle for that of an elbow, the 30-year repeatedly said he could not recall every making such a mistake.

Instead he said that the claim he had related back to a training session where there had been a “lot of confusion”.

“I mentioned to the committee that that instance was simply not true,” he said.

“It was a teaching meeting where we were discussing up to 15 patients and x-rays, so there was a lot of x-rays around and misunderstandings will occur.

“But there were no patients there and a teaching environment is a chance for people to make mistakes and learn more.”

Asked by host Joe Duffy on whether he did confuse an ankle for an elbow, Mr Hassan said he remembered the instance but that he had been speaking about a different patient.

“[He] mentioned one patient with an x-ray and I was speaking about another… I can not recall the full details because it was years ago.”

“I don’t really recall the incident clearly,” he repeated.

Pushed on the issue by Joe, Mr Hassan continued to insist he could not recall, saying: “I don’t recall that particular training session. We are in training sessions all the time.”

Asked about the ‘audible gasp’ mentioned during the hearing when he is said to have made the mistake, the 30-year-old said that there were many reasons why such a noise would be made during a training session.

Dr Hassan, who attended the inquiry yesterday via telephone, was asked by host Joe want he thought of the Medical Council’s verdict against him.

Reluctant to answer, he replied that he had not “heard” or could “recall” the president of the committee mentioning the word guilty.

“[The committee] were detailing some allegations… and whether the probability of these events took place.”

Insisting he was very unhappy with how he had been portrayed as “sloppy” and “unqualified” by those giving evidence against him, Mr Hassan said “exams don’t lie” and went into a detailed account of his educational background.

“One of the allegations was that my English wasn’t good enough but I did a national English exam and I sat and passed the exam set by the Medical Council.”

Saying that most only score 50pc on the test, Mr Hassan claimed he “passed it with flying colours”.

He went on to say that he came from family of doctors, and that his brother and father had both worked in Ireland before returning to their native Sudan.

“My father worked here as a surgeon in the late 1970s, and became a fellow of the [Royal] College of Surgeons in the UK afterwards.

“He became the National Director of Surgery in Sudan after returning home.”

Mr Hassan, whose medical registration has been suspended, said he did not know what his next step would be but said that he would “always be a doctor” regardless of what sanctions the Medical Council decides to take against him.

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