Doctor before Fitness to Practise inquiry

Wednesday 13 November 2013 11.44
A Medical Council inquiry is under way into the doctor's conduct
A Medical Council inquiry is under way into the doctor's conduct

A Dublin-based GP is facing allegations of poor professional performance for incorrectly telling a woman that she had a Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD).

A Medical Council Fitness to Practise Committee has heard that Dr Iman Ekky's diagnosis caused Patient A and her husband undue distress.

Patient A was in a monogamous relationship with her husband for 18 years and the couple have a daughter.

Dr Ekky practises at a clinic at 53 Lower Drumcondra Road in Dublin.

On 25 April 2012, she diagnosed herpes in the case of Patient A and prescribed drugs.

Patient A was shocked and upset at the diagnosis.

She told the inquiry that after telling Dr Ekky herpes was not possible, she felt like the doctor was looking at her as if to say: "You're so stupid, like, if you're not playing away, then your husband obviously is."

After the surgery visit, Patient A telephoned her husband very distressed.

She told the inquiry that had she been in a different relationship, the wrong diagnosis could have destroyed it.

Two days after the 25 April surgery visit, Patient A got a second opinion from a GP who diagnosed a cyst.

Jane O'Neill, barrister for Dr Ekky, told the inquiry that her client was prepared to give an undertaking to the committee not to repeat the conduct complained of.

She would also undertake three courses in women's sexual health.

Dr Ekky does not intend to call any evidence on her behalf.

Ms O'Neill said Dr Ekky wanted to apologise for any distress caused as this was never her intention.

She said Dr Ekky had not made a definitive diagnosis of herpes at the visit.

Neasa Bird, barrister for the CEO of the Medical Council, said Patient A had complained to the Medical Council two days after the wrong diagnosis, as she and her husband were so upset.

Patient A's husband also told the inquiry their relationship was monogamous.

He said the STD diagnosis suggested sexual misconduct and was a disgrace as his wife was a lovely innocent lady.

Among the allegations are that Dr Ekky failed to take account of Patient A's monogamous relationship.

The inquiry heard that the patient's cyst continued to increase in size and ruptured.

Dr Colin Bradley, Professor of General Practice at University College Cork, told the inquiry that to mistake a cyst for herpes was below the standard of competence that would be expected of a doctor offering sexual health services to a woman.

He said it was an injurious decision to make in the case of a woman in a monogamous relationship.

Prof Bradley said that Dr Ekky should have taken into account Patient A's sexual history.

He was giving evidence as an expert witness for the Medical Council's CEO.

Dr Ekky qualified in medicine in 1993 and has been working as a GP since 1999.

The Fitness to Practise Committee this evening decided not to accept the offer of an undertaking made by Dr Ekky.

The inquiry has adjourned to resume its deliberations and a verdict is due tomorrow.