Monday 20 May 2019

Junior doctor who could not take pulse struck off register

Eilish O'Regan Health Correspondent

A junior doctor who was so incompetent she was not even able to take a patient's pulse, has been struck off the medical register, the Irish Independent has learned.

Asia Ndaga (31), who was passed as fit to work as a senior house officer in Letterkenny Hospital in Co Donegal last year, has been removed from the register by High Court on the orders of the Medical Council.

A spokeswoman for the council said last night that all other medical regulatory bodies that register doctors will be now be contacted about the order to strike off Ms Ndaga.

An inquiry held during the summer was told the African-born doctor, who was trained in Romania, could not take a pulse and had difficulty communicating with patients in English.

The Medical Council fitness-to-practise panel found her guilty of poor professional performance but the decision to strike her off was only revealed yesterday.

Ms Ndaga, who had a postal address in Coleraine, Co Derry, had failed an exam for a similar job in Romania. However, she was appointed as a senior house officer at the Donegal hospital on a salary of €39,000 before being dismissed after six weeks.

Rules

Under EU 'light-touch' rules she was entitled to register as a doctor here without any test of her competency or ability to speak English as long as she proved she was qualified and had a clean disciplinary record.

She was selected for a training scheme and passed an interview panel made up of a doctor and HSE officials after applying for the junior doctor post.

An Irish Independent investigation later revealed basic checks would have shown that she had failed an entrance exam for a similar training post at a hospital in Romania after her graduation from Carol Davila University of Medicine and Pharmacy in Bucharest.

She was among a group of medics wooed as potential candidates for a training post here after the HSE went on a recruitment drive in eastern Europe last year.

It was learned yesterday that following the Medical Council inquiry here, the General Medical Council in the UK invoked an emergency order on August 31 and suspended Dr Ndaga for 18 months.

A spokeswoman for the Medical Council confirmed last night it still cannot test the clinical or language skills of doctors who graduate in the EU.

It has lobbied the European Commission for a change and also raised the issue with Health Minister James Reilly.

Irish Independent

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