Medical Council inquiry begins into doctor's care of six patients in Donegal

Staff Reporter


Staff Reporter

Letterkenny University Hospital extremely busy this afternoon

Letterkenny University Hospital

A doctor who worked as a Senior House Officer at the Letterkenny University Hospital emergency department is facing a Medical Council inquiry regarding her care of six patients.

Dr Niveen Al-Khayyat is facing allegations of professional misconduct and or poor professional performance in relation to events between January and July 2015.

The inquiry is examining alleged failures in providing safe medical care, in making diagnoses, in documenting treatment plans and in communications with colleagues, RTÉ is reporting today.

It is also alleged Dr Al-Khayyat caused pain to a patient during a diagnosis.

Dr Al-Khayyat was born in 1960 and qualified in medicine from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland in 1986. She is a Jordanian citizen with an address in Amman and is representing herself at the inquiry via phone link.

The six patients will not be identified by name at the inquiry.

The inquiry has heard that Dr Al-Khayyat worked at the emergency department between  February 3rd and July 12th, 2015.

Barrister Lorna Lynch for the Medical Council chief executive said events began when Dr Al-Khayyat made a complaint about four consultants at Letterkenny General alleging unprofessional behaviour and discrimination.

On investigation, these complaints were not upheld by the Medical Council.

In an opening statement today, Dr Al-Khayyat claimed she had been discriminated against and subject to humiliation at Letterkenny.

She said her complaint to Letterkenny on the issues was not dealt with.

Dr Al-Khayyat said she had experience in obstetrics and gynaecology and came to Ireland to get further experience, and Letterkenny Hospital knew she had no experience in emergency medicine.

She said she was badly treated by Letterkenny and also criticised the Medical Council for the way it has dealt with her case.

The inquiry is scheduled to last eight days.

The inquiry has heard details of the six patients involved in the allegations.

Patient A was a 72-year-old male, seen around 11 February 2015, who presented with respiratory problems.

The medication records were 'empty'.

Nurses filled out two 'near miss' events in this case.

Patient B was a 69-year-old male seen around 23 March 2015 complaining of shortness of breath.

It is alleged Dr Al-Khayyat failed to start appropriate treatment.

Another doctor diagnosed respiratory distress and pneumonia and prescribed antibiotics.

In the case of Patient C, a 24-year-old male, there was an alleged failure to record the dimensions of a wound, after a fall from a motorcycle in April 2015.

Three other cases were also dealt with in April 2015.

Patient D was 58-years-old and there was an alleged failure to respond properly to significant respiratory distress.

Patient E was a 24-year-old female who was dehydrated and it is claimed Dr Al-Khayyat made a wrong diagnosis and caused the patient pain when she applied pressure to an area.

Patient F was a 31-year-old female where there was an alleged wrong diagnosis of urinary tract infection, for which antibiotics were also wrongly prescribed.