Grim prognosis - Dr Omar Hassan verdict

THE Health Service Executive has been asked by Health Minister Leo Varadkar to review its employment practices, on foot of the guilty verdict in the fitness-to-practise inquiry into surgical senior house officer, Dr Omar Hassan.

Minister Varadkar has asked the HSE to ensure that medical staff are qualified before commencing work. It is beyond belief that the HSE wouldn’t already be doing that, considering the grave implications for patient safety.

Dr Hassan’s shortcomings would be almost comical were they not so serious. At the hearing, evidence was given that Dr Hassan exhibited ignorance of theatre protocol, and at a training session he mistook an image of an ankle for that of an elbow. It took two years for Dr Hassan’s shorcomings to come to light, although he had been taken off-call at three separate hospitals between 2012 and 2014.

Why was there no system of advance warning when Dr Hassan moved from one hospital to another?

Considering he did not know a knee from an elbow, the implications are too horrifying to contemplate.


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