Inquiry told doctor molested woman in locked room

Thursday 07 March 2013 19.32
The inquiry is expected to last two days
The inquiry is expected to last two days

A Tipperary hospital consultant is facing ten allegations of professional misconduct, or poor professional performance.

They include claims he kissed a patient, locked her into his residence and molested her.

The two-day Medical Council fitness to practise inquiry is addressing alleged incidents involving Dr Hossam Desoky, a consultant anaesthetist at South Tipperary General Hospital, on 13 July 2010.

Katie Dawson, barrister for the Medical Council, told the inquiry that Dr Desoky disputes the patient's account of events.

The patient, Teri Chamberlain, who was admitted to the hospital for a colonoscopy, has been giving evidence today.

She said she first met Dr Desoky in a lift at the hospital when she was going in to be admitted.

Ms Chamberlain said that in the lift Dr Desoky, who is from Egypt, asked if she was an inpatient and said he was the chief anaesthetist.

The patient said she had never met him before and he said he would be her doctor.

She said he later came to her bedside, pulled the curtain around and kept grabbing her hand.

Ms Chamberlain told the inquiry that during the consultation Dr Desoky kissed her on a cheek.

She said her visitors arrived, her daughter and former husband, and Dr Desoky left.

She said she explained what happened to them and they suggested “maybe it was his culture”.

Later, Dr Desoky phoned her on her mobile asking if the visitors had gone as he wanted to return to check her chest in preparation for the anaesthetic, she said.

Ms Chamberlain said she never gave Dr Desoky her mobile, but he explained he had obtained it from her chart.

During this consultation, she said he invited her to his on-call residence room for a stop smoking treatment.

She followed him to the room, which he locked behind them, she explained.

Ms Chamberlain saw a bed and she said she wanted to leave.

She said Dr Desoky grabbed her and pulled her down onto the bed, pushing his face onto her chest.

She told the doctor she was married, she said, but he replied he knew she was separated from her chart.

Ms Chamberlain said she tried to pacify Dr Desoky. He kissed her, she screamed stop and he unlocked the door.

Barrister Katie Dawson told the inquiry that Dr Desoky, in correspondence, says there was no physical contact in the residence, that Ms Chamberlain had unexpectedly arrived there, he offered her tea and she spoke about her personal life.

Dr Desoky claims that after around ten minutes, Ms Chamberlain left and he kissed her platonically, as one would do to a family friend.

Ms Dawson told the inquiry that there is CCTV footage that can be shown to the hearing.

The legal representative for Dr Desoky told the Medical Council inquiry that his client denies in their entirety the allegations of sexual assault or molestation.

Jack Hickey, BL, told the inquiry that his client says Ms Chamberlain asked him to phone her.

He admits he allowed her into his on-call residence, but denies locking the door and preventing her from leaving.

Mr Hickey said that despite intensive interviewing of Dr Desoky by gardaí, the Director of Public Prosecutions chose not to proceed with the matter.

Sinead Buckley, a nurse at St Tipperary General Hospital, told the inquiry she dealt with Ms Chamberlain's complaint on the evening of the alleged events.

She said Ms Chamberlain said Dr Desoky had kissed her on both cheeks and had led her to the doctors' residence, to help her give up smoking.

Ms Buckley said it was very unusual for a doctor to bring a patient to a doctors' residence as it was not a public area.