Neary Report doctors face probe

THREE doctors named in the Neary report are to have their work practices reviewed by the Medical Council’s Fitness to Practice Committee.

The decision was made following a two-day meeting of the council where they reviewed Judge Maureen Harding Clark’s report into the high level of Caesarean hysterectomies at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, in Drogheda, Co Louth, over a 25-year period.

Medical Council President, Dr John Hillery said last night that the committee had been asked to review the doctors’ actions - as highlighted in the report - and to seek the doctors’ own observations

“The Committee will then advise the council on whether further action needs to be or can be taken in these cases. Further comment at this stage is not possible due to the constraints of the Medical Practitioners Act,” Dr John Hillery said.

Last night, the Medical Council reiterated its expressions of sympathy to the women who had their wombs removed unnecessarily at the hospital.

“We also want to emphasise the ethical imperative there is on all medical practitioners to deal with under performing colleagues rapidly and fairly, in a way that always keeps the safety of patients as the prime goal.

“This imperative is stated in the current ethical guide and failure to follow it will leave the doctor open to examination by the fitness to practice procedures of the council,” Professor Hillary added.

The council has also asked that a current review by its Education & Training Committee of recognised postgraduate training bodies examine the role of training bodies highlighted in the Our Lady of Lourdes report.

This review is due to be finished shortly and the council wants to be advised what, if any, changes could be necessary to the council’s accreditation process for postgraduate training, following the review.

The Medical Council has called for a statutory competence assurance scheme to be in place for all clinical and non-clinical staff working in the public and private health services and for better resourcing of clinical governance structures in the health services.

“Patient safety should be the cornerstone of medical practice and is the responsibility of individual doctors and of the Medical Profession as a whole,” Dr Hillery added.

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