Frightening medical standards

It is difficult to understand how a former paediatric surgeon at Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital who, according to evidence given to a fitness to practice inquiry yesterday, did not know how to scrub up properly for theatre and had difficulty putting on gloves, was employed by an Irish hospital.

The man, who said he felt “harassed” and would “never return to Ireland” was, again according to evidence heard yesterday, unable to write clinical notes on patients’ charts and did not understand the nature of tests he was asked to order despite claiming six years’ clinical experience in Romania. The inquiry also heard that there were communication issues and that a colleague had to point to her mouth or to her arm to explain how medicines should be administered.

An entire system can hardly be judged on one case but this episode must raise a number of concerns around recruitment procedures. It also raises questions about the annual exodus of newly qualified doctors, doctors trained at huge expense by Irish taxpayers who get nothing for their investment.


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