Inquest into doc’s fitness to practice adjourned

A fitness to practice inquiry into allegations of “irresponsible” prescribing by a Cork GP was adjourned unexpectedly yesterday after it emerged she had failed to provide key patient medical notes to the hearing.

The Irish Medical Council’s Fitness to Practice committee chairman Dr Richard Brennan said the committee was “disappointed and outraged” by the fact that despite repeated requests and orders the relevant documentation had not been produced prior to the hearing.

He said considerable costs would be incurred as a result of the adjournment and further distress may be caused if patients and other witnesses have to be re-called to the inquiry.

Dr Iwona Kulczyk, a Polish GP now based in Midleton, this week came before the Fitness to Practice Committee, who are investigating allegations into her over-prescribing of controlled drugs such as Rohypnol and tranquillisers or benzodiazepines to up to 86 patients from her surgery which was based at Penrose Wharf at the time.

Earlier, the inquiry heard from GP, Professor Colin Bradley, chair of general practice at UCC, who said he was concerned at Dr Kulczyk’s prescribing of two or more powerful tranquillisers such as Diazepam and Xanax on the same prescription to patients as this could increase the risk of potentially fatal toxicity and patients developing an addiction.

Professor Bradley, who drew up a report for the Irish Medical Council into the over prescribing of medications by the Polish doctor, was talked through each of the allegations made against Dr Kulczyk and he said it was his opinion that the majority of them fell into the more serious category of professional misconduct.

Earlier, the hearing heard from a pharmacist on North Main Street, Dr David Erdman, who said he had received a number of prescriptions from Dr Kulcysk’s patients in 2008.

He said he had contacted Dr Kulcysk as he was concerned that people may have begun to “seek her out” for these kinds of prescriptions.

He told the hearing that during a telephone conversation, Dr Kulcyzk told him she was feeling threatened by some of her patients and said she had difficulty getting rid of some of them and on one occasion she had to call gardaí.

The hearing was adjourned yesterday afternoon after Dr Kulcyzk’s barrister, Brian Leahy revealed that her legal team had just learned that Dr Kulcyzk had more detailed notes on her patients on an old computer which he wanted to use when cross-examining Prof Bradley.

The committee agreed to an adjournment until Monday, November 9.

Article courtesy of The Evening Echo newspaper.

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