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Tragic mum's doctor appeals one-year ban

A CONSULTANT gynaecologist suspended by the Medical Council for a year over treatment she gave to seven patients, including to a woman who later died, is appealing the penalty, the High Court heard.

Dr Andrea Hermann was reported to the council over the care she provided to seven patients at the privately run Galway Clinic, Doughiska, near Galway city, between February 2005 and November 2008.

A Medical Council Fitness to Practise Committee (FtPC) held an inquiry, which began last October and ran over 20 days.

The FtPC's decision to suspend her for a year, with conditions on future work was only confirmed, by the Medical Council and made public last month.

Yesterday, the High Court was told she is now appealing that decision.

She was not challenging the facts but the sanctions imposed, her counsel said.

The court heard the appeal could take up to two days to hear and High Court president Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns said he would have to put the matter into the next list to fix dates.

During the FtPC inquiry, the only allegations heard in public related to two of the seven patients over which complaints were made. The other five cases were heard in private.

The FtPC found her guilty of professional misconduct in relation to her treatment of some, but not all, of the seven patients.

She admitted to the FtPC that her treatment amounted to professional misconduct in relation to Saundra O'Connor (39) from Claregalway, Co Galway, who developed septic shock after a procedure carried out by Dr Hermann in 2005.

Ms O'Connor subsequently spent almost three years in a vegetative state before she died in February 2008.

Dr Hermann admitted her care of Ms O'Connor amounted to professional misconduct.