Doctor Roger Chatoor suspended following an investigation

Doctor Roger Chatoor. Photo BELINDA SOOLE.

Doctor Roger Chatoor. Photo BELINDA SOOLE.

A doctor has been suspended from Dubbo Hospital following an investigation into his behaviour and clinical practices.

The investigation into cardiologist Roger Chatoor began after what Dubbo Hospital Chief Executive Scott McLachlan said were concerns "around the doctor's behaviour with his peers and involvement in the on-call roster, as well as some clinical concerns", brought forward by clinicians and the Director of Medical Services at the hospital .

However, Dr Chatoor has defended his clinical practise in a statement to the Daily Liberal.

"This suspension is the result of a campaign of repeated allegations by a number of individuals against me.

"These allegations have been and will be strongly refuted and are likely to be the subject of legal proceedings.

"I am therefore unable to discuss the details and I will not be making any further comments."

A Western NSW Local Health District (LHD) spokeswoman said concerns over Dr Chatoor were first raised in mid-2012 and the issue was referred to a clinician for independent investigation.

She said the investigation was reviewed by the Healthcare Complaints Commission and the NSW Medical Council who determined there was no need for action.The spokeswoman said additional concerns were raised with the LHD 12 months ago, resulting in the recent investigation that led to Dr Chatoor's suspension.NSW Shadow Health Minister Walt Secord has demanded the health minister organise an immediate investigation into the allegations.

"A doctor who is on call and not being on duty, failing to supervise junior doctors and admitting by telephone are totally unacceptable and warrant an investigation.

"As part of accreditation under the NSW Institute of Medical Education and Training, every intern and junior doctor must be supervised. These are requirements," Mr Secord said.

Mr McLachlan said two reviews were conducted after allegations made in June this year- one that looked into the behavioural concerns raised and the other into the clinical concerns.

"These investigations have included in-depth discussion with the clinicians who raised the concerns with me and the doctor concerned was also interviewed for both.

"We have received the results of the independent investigation into the doctor concerned's behaviour and we are awaiting the final clinical investigation report.

"On the basis of the report we have already received and pending the results of the clinical investigation underway, the doctor concerned has been suspended."

Mr Secord has praised the doctors who raised concerns.

"I congratulate the whistle-blower doctors for their courage and bravery. The health minister must investigate the claims immediately and guarantee that the doctors who blew the whistle are not compromised."

Member for Dubbo Troy Grant said he is confident in the processes in place at Dubbo Hospital to ensure patient safety is a priority.

"I can guarantee that a thorough clinical review is underway," Mr Grant said.

A spokeswoman for NSW Minister for Health Jillian Skinner said the situation was a matter for the LHD who were taking the lead on the issue.The LHD said pending the outcome of the review it is not appropriate for them to comment further.

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