Second doctor accused of sexually assaulting patients at hospital in Kildare
The doctor allegedly had multiple victims, including a minor.
A second doctor has been accused of sexually assaulting patients in a hospital in Kildare.
RTÉ Investigates are set to explore the accusations in a special program on Tuesday night (24 May).
Three separate investigations were launched at Naas General Hospital last November concerning a number of complaints of suspected sexual assault of patients by a doctor while they were unconscious.
A year previous to these incidents, however, another doctor had their medical registration cancelled following complaints of inappropriate touching by two young patients.
One of the victims, 'Ryan', was referred to Naas General Hospital in October 2010 due to severe anaemia, and was placed under the care of a medical team.
Dr Pathmadevan Rathnam was among the team tasked with taking care of 'Ryan'.
"It was late, I was asleep, he came in and woke me up, turned on the light above the bed and he said I need to just do an examination and I need you to slide your trousers and underwear down, I need to examine you below," 'Ryan' said.
"I thought, well yeah, okay, because I was complaining of stomach pains and pain in my groin so I thought this is all normal, it is just routine."
Rathnam visited 'Ryan' three nights in a row, inappropriately touching him each time.
Four months later, 'Ryan' was readmitted to hospital with anaemia, where Rathnam assaulted him a further two times, without being assigned to the medical team taking care of him.
Documents show that Rathnam was not scheduled to be working on several nights when 'Ryan' says he was assaulted.
"I spoke to one of the nurses in the ward and I said to her is there any reason why I should be having examinations below?," Ryan asked.
"And she said no, why, and I said a doctor has been coming around during the night and performing these checks on me and she just said I’ll be right back and the next thing the Head of Nursing was there.
"They asked me for a description, and I began to give a description and they finished my description and it shocked me because they were so accurate and straight away me and my mam looked at each other and we were like this has happened before."
The nurses were able to recognise ‘Ryan’s’ description because just three days earlier they had heard something similar from a patient.
Another male, a minor, alleged that the doctor had touched him inappropriately at Naas Hospital.
“On the day the first complaint was received [28 February 2011], the Hospital convened a serious incident review meeting," said Naas General Hospital in a statement.
The Hospital "decided to suspend the doctor from duty with immediate effect pending the outcome of a Trust in Care process… The doctor has never returned to work since his suspension…”
Naas General Hospital notified the allegations to the Irish Medical Council, HSE Child Protection Services and An Garda Síochána in April 2011, more than a month after the first complaint.
Before Gardaí questioned Rathnam, he fled Ireland.
“The Hospital notified the allegations to the Irish Medical Council, HSE Child Protection Services and An Garda Síochána in April 2011.
“The lack of ongoing communication and follow up is not in line with the standard of practice nowadays…," Naas General Hospital said.
"We acknowledge this was not adequate… [and] The Hospital would like to sincerely apologise to those involved…”
RTÉ Investigates - Abuse of Trust on Prime time is set to air tonight (Tuesday, 24 May) at 9.35pm on RTÉ One and the RTÉ Player.