Seven former patients of a gynaecologist, who had recently been found negligent by the Medical Council, have made claims for compensation for negligent hysterectomy procedures. The gynaecologist-Dr Peter Van Greene-completed the procedures at the Aut Even private hospital in Kilkenny between 2009 and 2011.
The claims were made prior to a hearing at the Medical Council’s Fitness to Practise Committee last week, which found the gynaecologist guilty on two counts of a poor professional performance.
Helen Cruise-one of the three women who brought complaints against the gynaecologist-underwent a hysterectomy at the Kilkenny hospital without Dr Van Greene having obtained her informed consent before the procedure. Helen claims that the standard of treatment she received left her suffering from depression. The two other women making claims against Dr Van Greene wish to remain anonymous.
Helen testified at the Medical Council’s Fitness to Practise Committee. She testified that the procedure and the potential risks involved only had been explained to her after a spinal anaesthetic had been administered to her. Six units of blood had to be administered to her following the operation, due to excessive post-operative bleeding.
The Committee also heard that Dr Van Greene applied for bankruptcy in the UK earlier this year, and is currently unemployed. He was most recently working in the Whitfield Clinic in Waterford while investigations were ongoing into the allegations made by the four women. The Committee has the opinion of fining Dr Van Greene, or striking him from the medical registrar.
Dr Van Greene’s bankruptcy will not stop the seven claimants from recovering a settlement of compensation if their claims for negligent hysterectomy procedures are successful. Any settlements will be paid by Dr Van Greene’s former medical indemnity insurance company.