Sunday 22 April 2018

Former Medical Council president accused of poor professional performance following cancer death

Dr.Colm Quigley, President of the Irish Hospital Consultants Association
Dr.Colm Quigley, President of the Irish Hospital Consultants Association

Kevin Keane

A FORMER president of the Medical Council has appeared before a fitness to practice inquiry to face allegations of poor professional performance.

Dr Colm Quigley faces nine allegations in relation to his treatment of a man who died from lung cancer months after being seen by him at his private clinic at the Ely Hospital in Wexford.

The inquiry has heard that the man, identified only as Patient X was referred to Dr Quigley by his GP after complaining of numbness and circulation problems in his feet.

Despite seeing Patient X on two separate occasions in 2009 and 2010, Dr Quigley failed to order a series of tests which he recommended should be carried out.

Patient X went on to be admitted to hospital in early 2011 where his lower left leg was amputated.

When it was noticed that he was not recovering from the operation, he was diagnosed with irreversible lung cancer from which he died on April 16th 2011.

A barrister for Dr Quigley, Paul Anthony McDermott told the inquiry this morning that his client cannot offer an explanation for why the tests didn’t take place.

“Clearly mistakes were made, there was a breakdown in communication, tests were ordered and didn’t happen,” Mr McDermott said.

Mr McDermott added that Dr Quigley ‘respectfully denies’ that his confuct amounts ot Poor Professional Performance and said a paper-based system which Dr Quigley used at his clinic can lead to mistakes happening.

“The mere fact that mistakes occurred doesn’t in itself doesn’t mean that Dr Quigley’s performance was to a lesser standard of that of other doctors in Ireland,” Mr McDermott said.

The man's widow made a complaint against Dr Quigley after he sent an appointment letter to her home following her husbands death in which he stated "I trust he is keeping well… I would be anxious to keep a watch on him".

 The case is expected to last a number of days.

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