11 September 2019

Cooma concerns around Dr Emil Gayed as inquiry launched

| Ian Campbell
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Cooma, where Dr Emil Gayed worked between 1994 and 1999. Photo: Ian Campbell

Cooma, where Dr Emil Gayed worked between 1994 and 1999. Photo: Ian Campbell

A gynaecologist who worked at Cooma Hospital in the mid to late 1990s is being investigated following patient safety concerns.

NSW Health has launched an independent review into the work of Dr Emil Gayed, who worked at Cooma between 1994 and 1999.

Earlier this month, the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal found Dr Gayed guilty of professional misconduct in relation to his treatment of patients at Manning Base Hospital where he worked from 1999 until February 2016 when his employment was suspended.

The tribunal has banned Dr Gayed from practising medicine.

NSW Health Deputy Secretary, Dr Nigel Lyons says that since the tribunal ruling, the Ministry of Health conducted an internal investigation to establish a full picture of Dr Gayed’s work in NSW public hospitals.

The four hospitals identified were:

  • Kempsey District Hospital (1990-2003) – Mid North Coast Local Health District
  • Cooma Hospital (1994-1999) – Southern NSW Local Health District
  • Manning Base Hospital (1999-2016) – Hunter New England Local Health District
  • Mona Vale Hospital (2002-2007) – Northern Sydney Local Health District

Gail Furness SC has been appointed to conduct the inquiry and will be assisted by Dr Greg Jenkins, a specialist obstetrician and gynaecologist. They have been asked to report back to NSW Health before September 30.

“Ensuring our patients receive quality and safe care is our priority and I am very sorry that this has not been the case for some women treated in the past by Dr Gayed,” Dr Lyons says.

“Our focus is on ensuring any woman with concerns about the care she may have received under Dr Gayed is provided with advice and any appropriate follow-up assessment.”

The inquiry will look at the management of complaints, adverse events or performance issues relating to Dr Gayed and subsequent action taken by each Local Health District.

Each of the four hospitals will make direct contact with any patient who has previously raised issues or complaints regarding treatment by Dr Gayed.

The ABC is reporting that complaints against Dr Gayed include gynaecology surgery without informed consent, a failure to diagnose a 10-week pregnancy, and the unnecessary removal of a patient’s ovary, damaging her ureter in the process.

It’s reported that 30 other complaints have been made against Dr Gayed over the course of his 26-year career, nine at Cooma Hospital and a further 25 or 26 at Mona Vale Hospital, according to the ABC.

Dr Lyons is encouraging anyone else with concerns about the treatment they may have received to call a dedicated telephone line set up at each of the hospitals.

“A senior clinician will be available to answer questions and make any appropriate referrals for follow-up care,” Dr Lyons says.

The Dr Gayed hotlines are:

  • Cooma Hospital – 0428 420 901
  • Kempsey District Hospital – 1800 726 997
  • Manning Base Hospital – (02) 6592 9111
  • Mona Vale Hospital – 1800 841 688

Outside of this situation, NSW Health recommends that anyone concerned about their clinician visit the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency, whose online register of practitioners has accurate, up to date information about the registration status of all registered health practitioners in Australia.

*This story first appeared on RiotACT

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