A doctor who was in the United Kingdom (UK) serving as a LOCUM, or temporary, doctor was struck down for being both incompetent and dangerous. The Italian doctor had been booked as a LOCUM doctor in July 2008 through an agency as a locum Senior House Officer (SHO) for general surgery.
This strike down is the result of a lengthy investigation by the General Medical Council (GMC) that regulates doctors in the UK. The GMC heard from many medical professionals as they gave their accounts of the doctor’s medical competency, or the lack thereof. One of those testified that they had never seen anyone perform so poorly even at the undergraduate level. Another stated that the doctor did not even know the proper technique to ‘scrub up.’ The term ‘scrub up,’ refers to the thorough washing that surgeons do before they perform an operation.
Reports indicate that this doctor was so bad that he was not aware of common medical reporting procedures, and even some of the medical terminology that is understood even by non-medical hospital staff members. As an example, officials confirmed to a reporter, that the doctor thought that a ‘crash’ call referred to a car crash. In medical terminology, a crash call refers to a patient being in cardiac arrest.
The GMC not only heard testimony about the doctor’s medical skills, they also heard witnesses state that the doctor also lacked any competency in dealing with patients. There was one report of the doctor having slapped a patient in order to see if they were conscious. It was also reported that the doctor spoke very little English, which also led to communication difficulties since few patients, or staff the doctor had dealings with spoke any Italian.
An Attorney also learned that the doctor had practiced at a total of 14 different hospitals in the UK before he was reported to the GMC. Although his CV and references were inspected before, he was allowed to work as a locum doctor, the GMC is not allowed to ‘test’ doctors that arrive to work from any EU member states. The answer may be a surprise. The reason is simply stated, “It restricts the free movement of labour.”
Hospitals in Nassau and Suffolk have dealt with this kind of problem.
Should something go seriously wrong with your medical care despite your best efforts, an informed medical consumer will always contact an experienced New York Medical Malpractice Attorney for legal advice.