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24th May 2022

Naas doctor removed from registry following sexual assault allegations

Ellen Fitzpatrick

The news is only coming to light now.

A doctor at Naas General Hospital has been removed from the Irish Medical Register in 2015 after two patients made complaints that he had sexually assaulted them.

According to RTE Investigates, the allegations were made against Dr Pathmadevan Rathnam and he was found guilty of professional misconduct by the Irish Medical Council.

Concerns first came about in late February 2011 when Naas General Hospital got a complaint from a male minor that the doctor that he had been inappropriately touched in the genital area while at the hospital by the doctor.

It was only a few days later in March 2011 that a 19 year old male made a similar report, claiming he had been sexually assaulted by Dr Rathnam on six occasions.

Naas General Hospital has apologised for the way the two patients were treated by them.

In a statement to RTÉ Investigates, Naas General Hospital said that when they received the first complaint, they convened a serious incident review meeting and “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,” the hospital noted.

They then added that the Irish Medical Council, HSE Child Protection Services and An Garda Síochána were all notified in April 2011.

By this time the 19 year old had already reported the allegations to the Gardaí but when Dr Rathnam was sought to be questioned, he had already left Ireland.

The case is currently an ongoing criminal investigation and Gardaí are cooperating with Interpol and other police authorities.

Naas General Hospital nor gardaí told the patient that Dr Rathnam had left the country and no update on the investigation was given.

In response, Naas Hospital said: “The lack of ongoing communication and follow up is not in line with the standard of practice nowadays… we acknowledge this was not adequate.”

This is not the first allegation similar to this that Naas General Hospital has faced, as last year RTE Investigates revealed that there were three separate investigations underway related to a series of allegations of sexual abuse of unconscious patients by a different doctor.

These were related to the conduct of Dr Aamir Zuberi who was an anaesthetist who once worked at the hospital.

The allegations were made by four patients who alleged they were assaulted between 2016 and 2017.