Inquiry hears doctor failed to answer basic medical questionsTuesday 12 January 2016 22.18
A Medical Council Fitness to Practise Inquiry has heard evidence that doctors at University Hospital Galway were concerned Dr Omar Hassan might not be a doctor at all, after an incident in theatre and his answers to basic medical questions.
Dr Hassan is facing 11 allegations of professional misconduct and poor professional performance in relation to his care of patients and interaction with colleagues.
This is the sixth day of the inquiry, which is dealing with Dr Hassan's time at University Hospital Galway, where he worked for a short period in January-February 2014 as an orthopaedic senior house officer.
Mr Aiden Devitt, consultant orthopedic surgeon, said he first met Dr Hassan on Saturday 1 February 2014 in UHG.
It was clear he had not worked in the Irish system for long.
Dr Hassan did not mention having been taken off call during his time both at the Midland Regional Hospital in Portlaoise and Mayo General Hospital.
He said his time at Mayo General Hospital went very well.
Mr Devitt said he told Dr Hassan to ask questions and not be afraid to seek help and that there was support.
He told the inquiry Dr Hassan's response was extraordinary and exaggerated.
Dr Hassan said: "If I'm not what I claim to be, it will become obvious".
Mr Devitt said that when asked about antibiotics and deep vein thrombosis, Dr Hassan was unfamiliar with protocols.
When asked to help position a patient in theatre, Dr Hassan wore his outside shoes into theatre, which showed he seemed to be unfamiliar with the theatre environment.
He said there were concerns from staff, patients and relatives which indicated he may not have basic competences to function safely.
That first weekend, Mr Devitt was concerned about Dr Hassan's knowledge of the basics of working on a ward "without killing someone."
Dr Hassan was talking about his aspiration of becoming a consultant.
Mr Devitt said doctors became concerned he might not be a doctor at all.
They were worried some disaster would happen that weekend and they watched Dr Hassan closely.
Mr Devitt decided to ring a surgeon in Mayo General where Dr Hassan had worked.
He learned such was the concern during his time there, Dr Hassan had been taken off call.
Mr Devitt told the inquiry he had worked with many Sudanese doctors and they were all very good, with the exception of Dr Hassan.
Dr Hassan told the inquiry there was an element of bias and victimisation in the allegations against him.
He said he was "a brilliant student", one of the top students nationally in Sudan.
He said he wanted to get some training at Galway and return back to Sudan.
Mr Devitt told the inquiry that it would not surprise him if Dr Hassan has no medical education and said he remained to be convinced.
Mr Devitt said if you pulled someone off the street, they would have done a better job than Dr Hassan.
Nurse Kelly Gorham has told the Medical Council inquiry of an incident on 3 February 2014.
A patient with a fracture was still in severe pain, after analgesia.
She said the patient had a pain score of nine out of 10 and she was concerned the pain might develop compartment syndrome, which is a medical emergency. The patient needed urgent review.
Nurse Gorham asked Dr Hassan twice to review the patient and on both occasions he said he was busy.
Nurses had to get another doctor from theatre to review the patient.
Nurse Gorham told the inquiry being busy is not an excuse in the case of a medical emergency.
She said the emergency takes precedence.
The inquiry resumes tomorrow.