Health Minister’s stand-in demanded jewellery before treating epileptic teenager
Angry mum reveals incident at Dr James Reilly’s surgery
A Dublin woman has revealed how a doctor working at Health Minister James Reilly’s practise demanded that she hand over jewellery before he would treat her son as he suffered an epileptic fit.
Antoinette McLoughlin was met with the startling demand when she reported to Reilly’s North Dublin clinic in Skerries without her medical card.
She was forced to hand over her eternity ring before the stand-in doctor would treat her son Michael who had suffered an epileptic fit at the family home in the suburb of Lusk.
The incident occurred in 2006 but McLoughlin has only now gone public after Health Minister Reilly announced plans to introduce a $70 dollar annual fee for medical card holders and increased prescription charges.
The agency doctor was providing night-time cover for Dr Reilly when the McLoughlins arrived at the surgery.
Mother of three Antoinette told the Irish Independent that she had rushed Michael, who suffers from fluid to the brain and epilepsy, to the clinic after he had a seizure at 9pm in the evening.
“I was there with a friend of mine and both of us were in pyjamas. He asked me for my medical card and I told him I did not have it. He said I would have to pay a fee. I told him I did not have my purse with me,” she said.
“He refused to see my son on the ground I did not have the medical card or cash with me.
“He told me I would have to give him something and said I had plenty of jewellery. I had my wedding ring, engagement ring and eternity ring. I gave him the eternity ring. He said he would give it back when I could give him the card number. Only then would he treat my son.
“The next morning he came to the house with the ring and I refused to take it back so he posted it through the letter box.”
The angry mother contacted a Dublin radio station when Reilly’s plans to change the medical card system first came to light.
“I wanted the doctor struck off. I did not want him to be a danger to other people around the country,” added McLoughlin who met Reilly and the doctor involved to discuss the incident shortly after it happened when the guilty doc ‘apologized profusely’ for his actions.
A spokesman for Minister Reilly has confirmed the incident took place but has denied McLoughlin’s claims that she was asked not to go public with her story at the time.
Dr Reilly’s spokesman added: “Mrs McLoughlin has remained a patient of Dr Reilly’s surgery and he is baffled that she should take this stand at this stage.”
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