Doctor accused of failing to diagnose cervical cancer

A doctor has appeared before a fitness-to-practise inquiry accused of failing to diagnose cervical cancer in an 80-year-old woman who later succumbed to the disease.

The Medical Council inquiry yesterday heard evidence of the pain suffered by the Longford woman before she was diagnosed with cancer two years after her initial symptoms began.

It is claimed that Mukhtar El Siddig Awadalla, aged 53, who worked at the Midland Regional Hospital in Mullingar, failed to arrange for an investigative surgery for Mary Hughes in March 2010.

It is alleged that, during an exploratory surgery, which eventually took place in May 2010, Dr Awadalla failed to perform a biopsy that could have been used to diagnose Ms Hughes’ cervical cancer.

Dr Awadalla, who worked as a locum consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist at the hospital during 2010, now lives and works as a consultant in the Sudan. The doctor, who is representing himself, faces allegations of poor professional performance on foot of the factual claims.

Ms Hughes suffered from a number of conditions, the inquiry heard, that she managed successfully. She had a good quality of life until 2008.

Ms Hughes was diagnosed with cervical cancer in October 2010, after Dr Awadalla performed another hysteroscopy and took a biopsy. She died seven months later.

Ms Hughes’ daughter, Kathleen Sleightholme,

said she attended the appointment with her mother on March 9, 2010, when they first met with Dr Awadalla.

Medical notes indicate Dr Awadalla discussed a referral to hospital for an exploratory surgery with his colleague. Ms Sleightholme said they were not told about the possibility of any such procedure at that time.

The hearing continues.


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