GP admits three allegations of poor professional performance

A GP who failed to provide adequate care for a patient who later died of thyroid cancer has been found guilty of poor professional performance at the Medical Council.

Dr Pawel Kaminski had admitted three allegations of poor professional performance he faced at the fitness to practise hearing of the Medical Council.

Ballyowen Medical Centre 01 compressor

Ballyowen Medical Centre

Dr Kaminski had also accepted the allegations amounted to a finding of poor professional performance.

The allegations related to the care provided to Christine Monahan, from Clondalkin, at Ballyowen Lane medical centre in west Dublin in 2015.

When Ms Monahan, who had a lump in her neck, sought a referral to a hospital emergency department, Dr Kaminski said she would only spend all day waiting there, according to family members.

The lump was diagnosed as anaplastic thyroid cancer, a rare and aggressive form of the disease, when she attended Tallaght Hospital for unrelated treatment of her Parkinson’s in August 2015.

Ms Monahan’s family say they do not hold Dr Kaminski responsible for her death, as she had an aggressive form of cancer, but they say she might have lived a few months longer and had a better quality of life in her final months if the cancer had been diagnosed earlier.

It is alleged Dr Kaminski, while working as a GP at the medical centre, on June 11th 2015 recorded “US” in Ms Monahan’s medical records but failed to arrange for her to have an ultrasound.

It is also alleged that on or around June 11th, 2015 to August 8th 2015, when he had diagnosed the patient with hyperthyroidism, he failed to consider adequately all differential diagnoses for her symptoms, failed to refer her to an endocrinologist and failed to prescribe medications in an appropriate manner for the treatment of her condition.

It is also alleged that his referral letter to the radiology department of St James’s Hospital of August 6th 2015 failed to provide adequate clinical information to ensure the urgency of the referral and the seriousness of her condition was not evident.

Ms Monahan, who was feeling unwell in 2015, was referred for tests by Dr Kaminski on several occasions that year. She died in October 2015.

Dr Kaminski qualified as a doctor in Warsaw in 1993, and worked in Poland and Australia before coming to work in Ireland in 2012.

His lawyer, Cathal Murphy BL, pointed out that no other complaint had ever been made against his client and submitted a positive reference from his current employer. Counsel pleaded that the case be dealt with by way of an undertaking not to repeat what had happened.

In finding the allegations proven, the fitness to practise committee said they did not think this case could be dealt with by way of an undertaking.

The issue of what sanctions to impose, if any, will be decided by the Medical Council at a later date.

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