INAPPROPRIATE emails and texts were sent to female members of staff within two weeks of a junior doctor starting work at University College Hospital Galway, a Medical Council Fitness to Practice hearing was told yesterday.
"It was causing a lot of distress. I saw one or two of the texts but I didn't see the emails -- but I knew the contents of them," said Dr Matthew Goodyear, Haematology Specialist Registrar at the Mater Hospital.
At the time Dr Goodyear was attached to the Galway Hospital's Haematology unit.
Dr Goodyear said that when the issue came up for discussion, action was already under way to deal with it.
Dr Goodyear was giving evidence at a Medical Council hearing yesterday into alleged professional misconduct by Dr Onada Olajide Onada, who is also facing a number of charges relating to harassment and inappropriate behaviour.
Dr Goodyear sent an email to Mr James Keane, Medical Manpower Manager, on September 29, 2010, in which he raised a number of issues including Dr Onada's alleged sending of inappropriate emails, texts and comments to female members of staff.
Dr Onada denies all charges.
"Dr Onada started work in August 2010 and it became common knowledge that between one to two weeks of his commencing the job inappropriate emails and texts were being sent to female members of the medical team."
When asked what effect the emails and texts were having on his female colleagues Dr Goodyear said: "It was a very uncomfortable atmosphere such that people did not want to work in isolation with Dr Onada. Obviously this was problematic. From a clinical point of view I actually found Dr Onada satisfactory enough," he added.
The ongoing inquiry was adjourned until this Friday.