Doctor showed bizarre behaviour, fitness-to-practise inquiry told

Medic demonstrated level of clinical incompetence regarding diagnosis, proceedings hear

 Dr Omar Hassan Khalafalla Mohamed leaving the Medical Council offices. Photograph: Dave Meehan/The Irish Times

Dr Omar Hassan Khalafalla Mohamed leaving the Medical Council offices. Photograph: Dave Meehan/The Irish Times

 

A doctor has appeared before a Medical Council disciplinary inquiry facing allegations of professional misconduct and poor professional performance.

A total of 30 witnesses are expected to give evidence in the case of Dr Omar Hassan Khalafalla Mohamed, whose medical registration is currently suspended.

The senior house officer (SHO) faces a number of allegations relating to events that occurred while he was working as a surgical SHO at the Midlands Regional Hospital Portlaoise in 2012 and Mayo General Hospital in 2013, and as an orthopaedic SHO at University Hospital Galway in 2014.

In all three positions, Dr Hassan, who was representing himself at the inquiry, was placed off call shortly after he began the posts.

The inquiry on Monday heard that Dr Hassan’s medical registration was suspended by the High Court, following an application by the Medical Council in March 2015 under Section 60 of the Medical Practioners Act 2007.

Dr Hassan demonstrated a level of clinical incompetence regarding diagnosis, prescriptions and disease control, Frank Beatty legal counsel for the chief executive of the Medical Council said.

The doctor also demonstrated a lack of knowledge and insight and bizarre behaviour, Mr Beatty said.

Mr Beatty also said it appears that Dr Hassan failed to actively engage on a number of levels including non-attendance on the ward on certain days while he was on duty and, in instances when he was present, failed to act or refused to act when ordered to do so by his superiors.

One allegation relates to the admission of a three-year-old child, while he was working at University Hospital Galway in February 2014. The allegation claims that Dr Hassan failed to prioritise the child’s admission in circumstances where the child presented with a fractured humerus, in a timely manner.

Dr Hassan “totally” denies the allegations.

Several nurses working at the Portlaoise hospital on Monday gave evidence regarding Dr Hassan’s time at the hospital, where he officially worked from July 2012 through January 1st 2013.

One of the allegations against Dr Hassan claims that, during October 2012, he failed to respond to a number of bleeps/pages from nursing staff, and that he failed to admit patients and/or obtain consent for procedures on the day ward in a timely manner.

These patients would have come into the hospital for day surgeries.

Knock-on effect

Nicola McGlynn, the clinical nurse manager at Portlaoise, told the inquiry that delays in admitting patients to theatre have a knock-on effect on both patients and staff.

“It’s vital that everyone does their job in a timely manner,” she said.

When asked how she found Dr Hassan, Ms McGlynn said, “I found him okay. I have no particular opinion on the matter.”

Ms McGlynn said: ‘My personal feeling was that Dr Hassan didn’t like taking instruction from me.’

On Monday morning, Dr Hassan, with an address in Dublin 15, appeared at the inquiry via Skype, arguing that he would be at a disadvantage if he appeared in person, without being legally represented.

However, the committee denied his application to appear via Skype, and requested his presence at the Medical Council’s headquarters in Dublin 2. The doctor arrived shortly before lunchtime and the inquiry resumed in the afternoon.

“I think I have been treated unfairly . . . for reasons I’m not totally aware of,” Dr Hassan told the inquiry.

He argued that the three posts under question were his first positions in Ireland, and that, since then, no issues have arisen.

The inquiry continues.