THE level of sexual abuse by doctors and medical professionals could be far higher than the level exposed in the Catholic Church, a patients' group warned yesterday.
The warning came after a survey found that one in five people who responded has claimed they were subjected to an inappropriate action or comment by a health professional.
The independent survey was commissioned by the group Dignity4Patients, which was set up to support the victims of retired consultant Michael Shine.
Mr Shine, who worked as a surgeon in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda, was struck off after a medical council inquiry found him guilty of sexually abusing a number of his patients.
The group's executive director, Bernadette Sullivan, said yesterday she feared that the extent of sexual abuse by doctors could be far higher that previously thought. She added it was essential that an inquiry into the allegations of abuse against Mr Shine goes ahead.