Inept neurologist allowed to stay despite complaints

2nd September 2009, Comments 0 comments

A hospital in Overijssel allowed a brain specialist to stay on for years despite complaints from patients and colleagues.

Overijssel – A neurologist at a regional hospital in Overijssel province who misdiagnosed patients, falsified prescriptions and neuropsychological tests’ results went unreported by the hospital between 1992 and 2005, reveals an official report Tuesday.

Neurologist Ernst Jansen Steur was allowed to keep his job at the hospital in Enschede despite his poor performance and the torrent of complains from patients and colleagues.

The doctor was only sent on sick leave in 2004 after persistent complaints by fellow specialists and fired when the hospital discovered his addiction to medication.

Meanwhile the hospital hushed up the entire affair to protect its reputation.

The report by an investigative commission says health inspectors did not investigate the situation despite receiving an official complaint in 2000.

The hospital also forced a patient to keep quiet about the poor treatment she was given or lose a EUR 15,000 compensation package, reports de Telegraaf.

The hospital board called the conclusions of the commission "staggering" and "exceptionally hard", and promised to take its recommendations to heart.

The Dutch association for neurology says it is shocked by the report, and has promised to do all it can to prevent a repetition.

Despite his promise not to return to neurology, it was discovered in 2006 that Steur was working again, at a clinic in Germany.

Radio Netherlands / Expatica

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