Hospital apologises to women

A MEDICAL expert has slammed the system which put Dr Roman Hasil to work and the hospital that employed him has apologised to his patients.

Part of a report prepared by obstetrics and gynecology expert Dr Peter Bland for the Health Care Complaints Commission was included in the findings handed down by the NSW Medical Tribunal on Wednesday.

A hearing into complaints against Hasil while he worked at Lismore was held in December.

Dr Bland said Hasil had found work in Lismore because "no-one else would go there".

He said the system had failed to detect the doctor had problems prior to his employment.

He questioned how a doctor who had failed to obtain official status in the profession in Australia could "drift into a position of responsibility.

Dr Bland accused the Government and the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG) had failed in their responsibility of caring for the women of Lismore.

"Neither has provided leadership or strategies to address the problem constructively. The result is a two-tiered health service with provincial women the losers," he writes.

"Dr Hasil is not unique...the problem will grow and the women of Australia will be the real losers. Complaints of this ilk will be the result."

College president Rupert Sherwood rejected Dr Bland's comments, describing the college as "a strong supporter of regional practitioners".

Northern NSW Local Health District issued a statement apologising to patients.

"The NNSW LHD regrets that some patients treated by Dr Hasil received care below the standard reasonably expected and apologises to those patients for this occurrence," it read.

However, a spokeswoman for the health service also noted: "The Tribunal did not find he had engaged in improper or unethical conduct relating to the practice of medicine and it was not established that he was not of good character."

Rural Doctors Association of Australia president Dr Paul Mara said there were thousands of foreign doctors working in rural Australia who were not adequately trained, qualified, supported or supervised.

He called on the government to implement a program to provide better doctors in rural areas.

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