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Saturday 18 November 2017

Mother claims doctor refused to treat sick child because she didn’t have €40 fee

Fergus Black

A MOTHER claimed that a doctor had refused to treat her infant daughter and had put the child's “life on the line” because she didn't have the €40 fee the GP demanded before seeing her.

The woman said she was panicked and distressed when she arrived at the clinic with her then one and half year old daughter after noticing a lump “the size of a golfball” on her neck.

But she claimed the doctor turned her away because she didn't have the money for the fee and she brought her daughter to Temple Street Children's Hospital where she had surgery and stayed for seven days.

“In my view he refused to treat my daughter - he put her life on the line for €40,” she claimed.

The mother of three was giving evidence at a Medical Council Fitness to Practice hearing into allegations of professional misconduct and/or poor professional performance against Dr Jerry Nasstrom arising out of an alleged incident at his surgery in the Coolock Health Centre in north Dublin on January 24, 2012.

Dr Nasstrom's counsel said his client strongly rejected any suggestion that he would turn away a child in the circumstances alleged by the complainant and his policy was never to turn away a sick child irrespective of whether the parents had money or not to pay for the visit.

The doctor had no idea the child was very sick and, had he known, he would have taken the appropriate action.

The Swedish-born doctor faces four allegations that include the claims that he refused or failed to treat the child and that he refused or failed to answer the mother when she asked if she needed to take her daughter to hospital.

He is also accused of acting in a rude and/or derogatory manner to the mother and/or the child's father.

The case is continuing.

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