Doctor under investigation over alleged sexual assault of patient at Naas General hospital

In 2015, a doctor working at the hospital had his medical registration cancelled following complaints by two ​young patients.
Doctor under investigation over alleged sexual assault of patient at Naas General hospital

A doctor is under investigation over allegedly sexually assaulting a patient at Naas General Hospital in Co Kildare.

The doctor, Dr Pathmadevan Rathnam, who had his medical registration cancelled in 2015, allegedly touched two patients inappropriately.

Speaking to RTÉ Investigates under the pseudonym Ryan, one of the patients said he was inappropriately touched when he was referred by his GP to Naas General Hospital while suffering from severe anaemia in 2010.

Placed under the care of a medical team, Ryan claims he was assaulted by Dr Rathnam at the hospital.

"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 explained.

"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."

Second admission to hospital

Four months later, in February 2011, Ryan was admitted to Naas General Hospital again where he says he was visited by Dr Rathnam at night a further two times, despite the doctor not being part of the medical team assigned to care for the patient. Ryan alleges he was assaulted on both nights.

According to RTÉ Investigates, documents it has seen show Dr Rathnam was not scheduled to be working.

After speaking to his mother, Ryan was encouraged to report his concerns.

"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?

"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."

In a statement to Breakingnews.ie, Gardaí said: "An Garda Síochána can confirm that in April 2011 one formal complaint was made concerning allegations of sexual assault by a doctor at a hospital in the east of the country.

"A person of interest in this investigation left this jurisdiction in early 2011, prior to any formal complaint being made to An Garda Síochána.

"No file has been submitted to the Director of Public Prosecutions at this time.

"This is an ongoing criminal investigation, which includes liaison with Interpol and other police authorities."

Living in fear

Ryan told RTÉ Investigates that he was not told by the hospital or the gardaí that the doctor had left the country.

"For a whole year I lived in fear of what if I bump into him in the supermarket, what if I see him in the street," Ryan said.

"For many, many years I’ve suffered extreme depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts.

"It affects your sexual life, it affects your everyday life, but I knew I had to get to the end because I knew that was the only way I could feel any relief from this, and I did until it all happened again to someone else, and now I feel like it is me all over again."

More than 11 years on from the assault, Ryan still has no answers.

According to RTÉ Investigates, Dr Rathnam, who is from Malaysia, qualified in medicine from the National University of Ireland in 2008.

The Irish Medical Council confirmed to Breakingnews.ie that Dr Rathnam was found guilty of professional misconduct in 2015.

Following a Fitness to Practise Committee inquiry, the council decided to cancel the practitioner’s registration.

The council’s decision was confirmed by the High Court on November 2nd, 2015.

Details of this case comes after RTÉ Investigates previously revealed three separate investigations were underway at Naas General Hospital concerning a series of complaints of suspected sexual assault of unconscious patients by another doctor.

Watch RTÉ Investigates – Abuse of Trust on Prime Time tonight at 9.35pm on RTÉ One and RTE Player.

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