herald

Tuesday 24 October 2017

Surgeon guilty of performing his duties poorly

Mihai Anton
Mihai Anton

a PAEDIATRIC surgeon who had difficulty ordering medical tests for sick children and communicating adequately with his colleagues has been found not guilty of professional misconduct.

A Medical Council inquiry has ruled, however, that Dr Mihai Anton was guilty on 10 counts of the lesser charge of poor professional performance.

The doctor, from Romania, applied for the position at Our Lady's Children's Hospital in Crumlin in late 2012 and submitted a CV.

Dr Mihai, who said he was qualified as a consultant in Romania, was found guilty of poor professional performance included contaminating the sterile field in the theatre and obtaining "consent" from the parents of a patient undergoing surgery, despite being explicitly instructed not to.

When he did obtain the consent, he did so for a completely wrong procedure.

In another instance, the inquiry was told that he put another patient at risk of infection by taking them into a room on the day ward that was deemed out of bounds.

The inquiry heard that in that case a "big sign" had been placed on the door which read "Don't Use, Contaminated" or "Requires Cleaning". There was what appeared to be vomit on the floor, the inquiry was told.

Dr Anton, who was not present at the hearing, was described as having limited English and used "monosyllabic answers" to converse with colleagues.

The inquiry found he displayed poor professional performance by being unable to write an accurate record of an examination in a patient's medical notes without being provided with assistance.

And because of his limited English he was unable to order a kidney function, urea and electrolytes test for a child because he did not understand what was being asked of him.

harassed

He also demonstrated a lack of acceptable medical knowledge when he told a colleague that he believed two completely different procedures, a herniorrhaphy and herniotomy, were the same thing.

He had been recruited to work as a surgical senior house officer - a junior doctor undergoing training - in Our Lady's Children's Hospital.

Dr Anton applied for the position in late 2012 and supplied a CV which said he had qualified as a consultant in Romania.

He also supplied references and was appointed following a telephone interview on January 14, 2013. But he was suspended with full pay 10 days later. His contract was terminated on March 8 last year.

Dr Anton, who was notified of the fitness to practise inquiry, failed to attend the hearing.

Former colleague Dr Suzanne McMahon told the inquiry that Dr Anton had great difficulty understanding simple instructions, forcing her to "demonstrate with actions".

She had to explain which "route" to administer medication - either through the vein or orally - by "pointing at my arm, and at my open mouth".

In correspondence read to the inquiry, Dr Anton claimed he felt harassed and would never return to this country.

In a statement, the hospital said Dr Anton did not work in an unsupervised capacity and "no patient safety issues arose".

The fitness to practise inquiry's decision will be forwarded to the full board of the Medical Council which will decide what penalty, if any, to impose.

hnews@herald.ie

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