Monday 11 December 2017

'Hearing is a breach of my basic rights as a citizen,' says city GP

Dr Marcus de Brun in his practice in Rush. Photo: Damien Eagers
Dr Marcus de Brun in his practice in Rush. Photo: Damien Eagers

Liz Farsaci

A GP under review at a Medical Council inquiry has claimed the hearing is in contravention of his "basic rights as a citizen".

Dr Marcus de Brun, a general practitioner with a sole practice in Co Dublin, was yesterday the subject of a fitness to practice inquiry at the Medical Council headquarters in Dublin 2.

Dr de Brun, whose practice serves 3,000 patients, faced allegations relating to his refusal to participate in a professional assessment programme, after he was referred to one by the Medical Council in 2015.

On foot of this, he was accused of contravening a provision of the Medical Practitioners Act 2007.

Dr de Brun admitted he did not participate in the assessment programme but he was cleared of the allegation that he contravened a provision of the Act.

Dr de Brun, representing himself, told the inquiry that in 2014 he had been the subject of an initial "insulting and malicious" complaint.

He said the complaint was made by one of his patients shortly after she had left a psychiatric facility.

He said the Medical Council investigated this complaint for a year but it was then closed.

But Dr de Brun said that although the complaint was closed, the Medical Council referred him to a professional competence scheme in 2015.

He said this included an assessment of his own mental health, which he found "upsetting".

He said the Medical Council also requested that he submit all his patient medical records to the council, and submit to an investigation of his premises.

Dr de Brun also said he was also asked to "hand over" his private mobile phone number, which he found to be "invasive and intimidating".

He argued that he believed it was not in the interest of his patients or himself to submit all their medical records to the Medical Council.

Dr de Brun has said the entire process has been going on for four years, and that he felt his guilt had been something of a foregone conclusion.

The GP strongly criticised the inquiry and said it contravened his "basic rights".

"I think the structure of this hearing is in contravention of my basic rights to impartiality in any hearing," Dr de Brun said.

"I consider this tribunal in contravention of my basic rights as a citizen."

"I find this process to be intimidating and upsetting," Dr de Brun added.

Rory Mulcahy, SC, legal counsel for the CEO of the Medical Council, responded: "It's not accepted there's any unfairness here."

Later, the inquiry committee - which rules on the case - said it was satisfied that the factual allegations against Dr de Brun, relating to his refusal to participate in the scheme, were proven, as he admitted to them.

But chairperson Mary Duff said the committee was not satisfied there was a contravention of the Act and was therefore not making any findings against the doctor.

Irish Independent

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