NZ report damning of former Lismore doctor
By Alex Easton
A FORMER Lismore doctor has been slammed by a New Zealand inquiry into complaints about his work there.
Dr Roman Hasil worked as an obstetrician at Lismore Base Hospital from 2001 to 2005. He later went to New Zealand's Wanganui Hospital and was accused of botching a series of sterilisation procedures.
Dr Hasil was never formally accused of malpractice during his time at Lismore Base Hospital.
The findings of an inquiry by the New Zealand Health and Disability Commissioner, Ron Paterson, are due to be released today, but a leaked summary of those findings slams Dr Hasil and New Zealand's Wanganui Hospital for employing him.
Mr Paterson said questions about Dr Hasil's competence x were already being raised when he was suspended for coming to work after drinking, and when women Dr Hasil had supposedly sterilised began falling pregnant.
Mr Paterson says in his summary that Dr Hasil:
Had a 'chequered work and medical registration history in Australia'.
Had a 25 per cent failure rate in sterilisation procedures performed at Wanganui Hospital, compared with a 0.2 per cent 'accepted failure rate'.
'Knowingly misled' the Wanganui District Health Board about his work and registration history when applying for a job there.
Performed sterilisation procedures without 'reasonable care and skill'.
"From the outset concerns were raised about Dr Hasil," Mr Paterson says in his report.
"They initially related to his competence. Then health issues emerged.
"Dr Hasil was reported to be smelling of alcohol while on duty on several occasions.
"The concerns about his competence did not abate, and further patient and staff complaints were received.
"During 2006, four of Dr Hasil's patients returned to the (District Health Board) pregnant following sterilisation surgery."
Mr Paterson is just as critical of the Wanganui District Health Board over its handling of Dr Hasil.
The board should have done more detailed checks on the doctor before giving him a job, he says.
Then the board 'hesitated too long in the face of clear information that Dr Hasil might pose a risk of harm to patients'.
Mr Paterson said Dr Hasil and his supervising doctor had an 'unsustainable' workload. at Wanganui, with both on call every other night, on top of their normal duties.
The inquiry into Dr Hasil has taken a high profile in the New Zealand media, which has reported extensively on complaints by former patients of the doctor.
Dr Hasil, who enjoys support from some of his former Lismore patients, went to ground before the inquiry began and no media organisation has been able to reach him for his side of the story.