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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

More Dr. Groupies: Former patient defends WDHB's problem gynaecologist

Boy, this sounds familiar!

Former patient defends WDHB's problem gynaecologist

THE GYNAECOLOGIST at the centre of a Health and Disability Commission report to be released next week has been defended by one of his former Australian patients.
The woman was Dr Roman Hasil's patient at Lismore Base Hospital, where he worked from 2001 to 2005 before he came to Wanganui Hospital.
She describes him as one of the best doctors she has ever had.
"The man that I dealt with was highly competent, highly professional," she said.
Dr Hasil became the subject of an HDC inquiry after it was came to light that six women had become pregnant after undergoing sterilisation surgeries performed by him.

Dr Hasil began work at the hospital in August, 2005, but was suspended in October, 2006 after he came to work smelling of alcohol. He resigned in March last year.
A special investigation by the Listener has revealed that details of wider surgical mishaps will also be explored in the HDC report, including one where a womans ovaries were removed without her knowledge.
However, it also signals that Wanganui Hospitals board and management are likely to be in for harsher criticism than Dr Hasil in the report.
Nevertheless, former Lismore patient Melanie O'Flynn she would always be grateful to Dr Hasil, who she came to with a risky pregnancy after experiencing six miscarriages in a row.
The woman and the Czech doctor did not get off to a good start. At her first appointment they had a heated argument about his use of medical terminology and his brusque manner.
"I told him what I thought of his bedside manner.
"After that we got on like a house on fire. I'd only see him," she said.
Ms O'Flynn has been no stranger to poor medical care, having suffered through a mishandled birth 15 years ago that left her eldest son deaf.
As Dr Hasil's patient she visited him several times a week but never noticed slurring or smelled alcohol.
Although his personal manner was "very blunt and brusque," she could not fault his physical handling of her or his medical judgement, she said.
When she went into early labour, Dr Hasil insisted on staying with her, even though he had just worked back-to-back shifts.
"He wouldn't leave me. He said he wasn't going to leave me and have me scared and put me in the hands of a registrar I didn't know," she said.
It was he who performed her emergency caesarean, allowing her to have an epidural so she could be awake in case her baby didnt survive.
"He communicated with me throughout the whole [birth], and at no point did I ever feel alone, it was a great experience," she said.
"I will always be grateful to him for what he allowed me to have of my birth. I felt I lost all my choices in my first birth, [but] Roman Hasil really respected that, and he put a lot of choices back into my hand," she said.
The picture she paints of Dr Hasil is in marked contrast to the traumatic examinations and mishandled procedures described by some women - one even recalling his inability to find her cervix.
While she accepted these things had happened, she believed that something terrible must have happened in Dr Hasil's life for his performance to deteriorate so greatly in New Zealand.
Much of the responsibility lay with a lack of a support by the health services who put too much pressure on doctors, she said.
"It's terrible. Dr Hasil won't be able to work again, and that's a terrible thing, because he was a very good doctor," she said.
The HDC report will be released on Tuesday.
Last month, Lismore newspaper The Northern Star reported Senior Lismore Base Hospital obstetrician Brendan O'Sullivan saying that Dr Hasil's care had been "adequate" during his time there, but some personal issues had began to emerge towards the end of his time at the hospital and had begun to affect his work.
In 2005, they had talked and agreed that Dr Hasil's "interests" would best be served if he left Lismore Base.
Dr Hasil had been employed as an obstetrician at the hospital and would not have performed sterilisation surgeries there, Mr O'Sullivan told the paper.
Former patient Frederica Himmel, who talked to the Chronicle last year and also appears in the Listener article, describes the Dr Hasil she met as a strange man, who wrung his hands, appeared flustered and was constantly saying "bloody hospital" during her appointment.
Although his manner with her was brusque, Dr Hasil warmed to her after she asked him about his homeland and spoke about her own time in eastern Europe.
"He became a little toned-down and almost normal. He was quite charming to me, actually."
At the same visit he had tried to organise a laparoscopic surgery to look at her ovaries under local anaesthetic.
This had been refused and had to be performed the next day.
She blames the procedure for a prolapsed uterus  although this has not been proved  and has since lost her ovaries after another doctor took his written recommendation that they should be removed as they were enlarged and had adhesions.
"I said, 'That was Dr Hasil; Why are you taking note of that?' but I was going under anaesthetic."
The ovaries were later found free of cancer, despite their enlarged state, she said.

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