Joni Amor.
Joni Amor. THe Northern Star/David Neilsen

Dr Roman Hasil allegedly 'under the influence'

SEPTEMBER 7, 2002, is a date Joni Amor would rather forget.

Although she was blessed with a newborn son, Ms Amor alleges she endured horrific treatment at the hands of Lismore obstetrics registrar Dr Roman Hasil when she presented at Lismore Base Hospital 33 weeks pregnant and in labour.

Ms Amor, now 27, alleges the doctor performed a cesarean on her while affected by alcohol.

She is among a growing list of North Coast women speaking out about their experiences with Dr Hasil, with 10 formal complaints now under investigation by the Health Care Complaints Commission.

Ms Amor claims Dr Hasil's first words to her were: “You f****** got me out of bed for this.”

Ms Amor said she could smell alcohol on Dr Hasil's breath during an examination in the hospital's birthing suite. Her mother, Brigit Amor, was present and claims she also smelt alcohol on the doctor's breath.

Ms Amor said she believed, at the time, doctors who were on call were allowed to drink.

Ms Amor said she began to cry as she realised the doctor was preparing to perform an internal examination on her without washing his hands or wearing gloves.

However, her mother was able to convince the doctor to let a nurse perform the examination.

Dr Hasil told Ms Amor she would need a cesarean.

Ms Amor said everything happened very quickly. “It was as though he was in a rush,” she said.

Within minutes of receiving an epidural anaesthetic, Ms Amor said Dr Hasil was cutting into her, yet she was not numb.

Ms Amor said she felt every cut of the scalpel as she tried to claw her way off the operating table.

“I was screaming and begging for him to stop,” she said.

Mrs Amor said she could hear her daughter's screams from in the waiting room.

Another staff member who was present during the operation also pleaded with him to stop, Ms Amor said.

Ms Amor said Dr Hasil then told the anaesthetist to 'put her to sleep'.

Ms Amor's son, Shane, was born with respiratory problems and was airlifted to Brisbane's Royal Children's Hospital.

She said when she fell pregnant again she became terrified at the thought of another cesarean.

And while she feels emotionally scarred by her experience, she is also scarred physically.

When Ms Amor had her second cesarean at Tweed Hospital in 2004, midwives said that from her scarring it looked like she had undergone at least four cesareans.

Ms Amor said she did not lodge a complaint in 2002 because she wanted to put the incident behind her, but after reading the stories of other women in The Northern Star she decided to speak out.

Lismore Base Hospital issued a statement to say it would be willing to assist Ms Amor to lodge a complaint with the Health Care Complaints Commission.

Hospital records of the birthing procedure do not indicate inappropriate medical care.

State MP for Lismore Thomas George is calling for an inquiry into the complaints procedure of Lismore Base Hospital and the North Coast Area Health Service.

Mr George said he wanted to know why it took the hospital five years to look into complaints made against Dr Hasil in 2003.

“It's not good enough to say 'sorry', we have to fix it up now,” he said.

Want to know more?
Doubts over Dr Hasil from day one: obstetrician.
Dr Roman Hasil abuse list continues to grow.
'Abusive' Roman Hasil blamed for heart attack.
Cesareans by Dr Hasil leaves women scarred.

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