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Reilly doctor asked for my ring for fee

A GP covering for Health Minister Dr James Reilly demanded the mother of a disabled boy hand over her jewellery when she could not produce her medical card.

The revelation was made by Antoinette McLoughlin, from Reamount Road, Lusk, Co Dublin. The medic was providing cover while the minister was a family doctor.

Mum-of-three Antoinette said that her son Michael (17), who had suffered from fluid in the brain and epilepsy, suffered a seizure around 9pm on the night of the incident and she brought him to the doctor's clinic in Skerries.

"He asked me for my medical card and I told him I did not have it. He said I would have to pay a fee. I told him I did not have my purse with me. He refused to see my son on the ground I did not have the medical card or cash with me," Mrs McLoughlin said.

"He told me I would have to give him something and said I had plenty of jewellery. I gave him the eternity ring because my son means more. He said he would give me back the ring when I could give him the card number. Only then would he treat my son."

A spokesman for Dr Reilly confirmed the incident took place but he denied that he asked Mrs McLoughlin not to go public about it when it happened in 2006.

A spokesman for Dr Reilly said he had arranged for a meeting at his surgery and the GP who asked for the jewellery "apologised profusely".