A disciplinary hearing has begun into a UK-based eye surgeon accused of carrying out cataract surgery in England at a time when his practice was restricted to non-clinical work.
Dr Arthur Nylander, who is registered to work in Ireland, is also facing allegations that he failed to tell the Irish Medical Council about disciplinary proceedings and sanctions against him in another jurisdiction.
The allegations of professional misconduct and poor professional performance are being heard by the fitness-to-practise committee of the Medical Council, sitting online.
At a hearing on Thursday, Dr Nylander’s lawyer Dr Toyin Ogunsanya said the allegations about his client related to events that had occurred “far back” in 2013 and 2014, which had been “thoroughly investigated” by the UK General Medical Council.
Dr Nylander has since been allowed by the GMC to practise without conditions. He was unable to attend Wednesday’s hearing as he was working.
Dr Ogunsanya said Dr Nylander had admitted the allegations at a GMC hearing and was suspended at the time. He claimed there was a subsequent agreement between Dr Nylander and the Irish Medical Council that the sanctions imposed by the GMC in England would automatically be “reflected” by the Medical Council here.
It was “plainly improper” for the Medical Council to start proceedings against Dr Nylander after 10 years when most of the allegation against him had been admitted and remediation had occurred, he argued.
The fitness-to-practise hearing should look at the Dr Nylander of today and not what had happened 10 years ago. “We are all human and we all make mistakes, but these were dealt with by the GMC,” he told the hearing.
Eoghan O’Sullivan, for the chief executive of the Medical Council, said only some of the allegations now faced by Dr Nylander had been investigated by the GMC in Britain. He denied the Medical Council had made any agreement of the type described with Dr Nylander about the GMC process.
He said it was not unusual for the Medical Council to consider matters that had come before regulators in other countries.
Dr Ogunsanya argued that the hearing should not go ahead as his client understood the agreement he made with the Medical Council covered all the allegations it had made.
Legal assessor Patricia Dillon SC said the allegations against Dr Nylander were very serious and involved allegations of dishonesty. The application for the hearing not to go ahead was being made “very late in the day” but was an important one.
After a break to consider the submissions made, committee chairman Paul Harkin adjourned proceedings until a date in the next two weeks, when full evidence will be heard on Dr Ogunsanya’s application.