Doctor facing resumed hearing

Dermatologist faces more than 100 allegations in long-running case


A dermatologist, facing more than 100 allegations of professional misconduct and or poor professional performance, has said he is not sure operating codes on patient files were accurate.

Dr Adam Jacobus Smith told a Medical Council Fitness to Practise Committee that on some occasions medical insurance companies would pay for only one procedure when it was planned to carry out two procedures.

In these instances, to help with the billing procedures, he would enter the codes for the “highest ranking” procedure financially.

Because of this he said if a patient was booked for a biopsy and another procedure was carried out as well, the biopsy codes indicating the biopsy was intended, may not appear on the file.

Dr Smith (65), of the Whitfield Clinic, Waterford, is facing a number of allegations that he incorrectly diagnosed at least six patients, where a biopsy would have helped him to make a correct diagnosis.

Dr Smith is facing allegations of poor professional performance or professional misconduct in connection with his treatment of 12 patients.

The case is one of the longest running to come before the Medical Council’s Fitness to Practise Committee , with some 30 days of evidence having already been taken.

Dr Smith who denies the allegations told solicitor for the Medical Council J P McDowell, he had intended to carry out a biopsy on the rash of a patient known as Patient B. He planned to do this when carrying out surgery on some warts which Patient B wanted removed.

However when the patient was brought in for the removal of the warts, the rash was not present and the biopsy could not be done.

Dr Smith said he felt his treatment of this patient was “within good clinical practise”.