Untimely Observations

Mind the Bollocks

One of the tropes of multiculturalism is mainstream politicians of all stripes telling us over and over again that we need immigration because immigrants bring much-needed skills. This argument often appears next to the assertion that the National Health Service (NHS) in the United Kingdom would collapse overnight without this much-needed influx of foreign labour, as there is -- we are frequently reminded -- a huge shortage of skills in this country. It appears that the millions of currently unemployed Britons, which include large numbers of university graduates, have grown so lazy that they would rather mooch off the state than be gainfully employed.

The following story, covered last April in the British press, seems to suggest that the imported foreign labour apparently so badly needed by the NHS does not always bring the best of skills.

Surgeon 'cut off patient's testicle by mistake'

by Daily Mail Reporter

20 April 2010

A patient lost a testicle during an operation after the surgeon accidentally cut it off, the medical watchdog was told today.

Dr Sulieman Al Hourani was only supposed to cut out a cyst on the patient's right testis, but instead he 'mistakenly' removed the whole testicle, the General Medical Council (GMC) heard.

Dr Al Hourani, who worked as a locum surgeon at Fairfield General Hospital in Bury, Greater Manchester, is accused of misconduct over the error and faces further charges of injecting himself with a drug meant for a patient and stealing tablets.

The medic, who is now practising in Jordan, is not present or represented by lawyers at the Fitness to Practise Panel which is hearing his case at the GMC in Manchester.

The panel decided to proceed with the case in his absence as he had been notified of the hearing but chose not to 'engage' with the GMC or appoint lawyers to represent him.

Sarah Prichard, counsel for the GMC opening the hearing, said a man, known only as patient A, had gone into hospital for the cyst to be removed on September 5 2007.

He was the first patient of the day and his medical notes made it 'perfectly clear' the procedure was to be 'excision of right epididymal cyst'.

Ms Prichard added: 'The theatre staff will tell the panel that their impression of what happened was that Dr Al Hourani had mistakenly removed the testicle rather than the cyst and expressed him(self) rather quite surprised the testicle rather than that which the patient had consented for was removed.

'Staff had no discussion or issue raised by Dr Al Hourani in the procedure as to why he was changing from excision of a cyst to removal of a testicle.'

Ms Prichard said the mistake was made as one nurse helping the surgeon turned her back to get a stitch and when she turned around the testicle had been removed.

'Literally as the nurse turned away to get a transfixion stitch the incident occurred and the testicle removed.

'Such was the level of concern they immediately realised it could be a serious medical incident and took steps to complete the relevant documentation.'

A month later it is alleged the doctor, who qualified after studying at Jordan University of Science and Technology, stole two boxes of dihydrocodeine from a treatment room on a ward at the same hospital.

An investigation was launched and the doctor was dismissed by his employers, Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, who ran the hospital.

The panel was told of another incident involving Dr Al Hourani more than a year earlier, on Sunday August 27 2006.

He had consulted a colleague and was advised to inject a patient with 10 milligrams (mg) of midazolam, a powerful sedative drug.

Instead Dr Al Hourani, who was the only surgeon at the hospital that day to treat patients, gave the patient 8mg and injected himself with the other 2mg.

Hospital staff said the doctor appeared unsteady on his feet, bumped into boxes, held on to a wall and was 'weaving' down the corridor.

He was later found in the doctors' mess room, 'deeply asleep' and taken in a wheelchair to A&E.

An internal inquiry at the hospital was launched and during disciplinary hearings he confessed to self-injecting the drug, telling colleagues it was the 'worst thing he had done in his life' and he was ashamed of himself.

A year later while still at the hospital he removed patient A's testicle by mistake, the GMC was told.

The hearing, scheduled to last three weeks, was adjourned until tomorrow morning.

Now, it might be that this was a fluke, and that, appearances notwithstanding, Sulieman Al Hourani did indeed have the required credentials to be taken on as a locum surgeon. But in a society that has become obsessed with the existence of a seemingly pervasive, endemic, entrenched, and institutional racism; in a society where the government, either directly or via its taxpayer-funded "equality" enforcement bodies, exerts constant pressure not to discriminate on grounds of race or other grounds; in a society where large organisations, public and private, have formal "equality" policies, officers, and budgets; in such a society, the sight of a coloured foreign worker in a professional organisation, however interim his position, cannot but inevitably -- sooner or later -- raise the question in the citizen's mind of whether that worker is really qualified for the position he holds, or he has, in fact, benefited from some non-discrimination policy or attitude. It is a legitimate question, since we know that in the United States "anti-racist" / "non-discrimination" programmes have meant that for decades less-qualified job or university applicants have obtaiend positions within organisations and elite centres of learning at the expense of better-qualified applicants purely because of the colour of their skin. Also, fear of appearing racist, or, alterantively, a desire to prove lack of racism, has been known to cause Whites to make poor choices when faced with members of non-European ethnic groups. (An example of this currently resides in the White House in Washington D.C.)

Therefore it bears asking, after reading the news report shown above, whether the unfortunate "accident" that took place in the Fairfield General Hospital's operation theatre would have not been prevented by institutional racism.

Indeed, I wonder whether Patient A would have not preferred a policy of more quality and less equality when it came to the utilisation by the NHS of temporary surgeons with overseas qualifications. I wonder whether he has asked the management at the hospital how it was that this Dr. Al Hourani came to make it through the selection process. After all, candidates for locum positions are supposed to undergo more rigorous scrutiny than those applying for a full-time employment contract.

There was a time when I believed that living in a civilised, First World country gave one certain guarantees with regards to personal security and levels of competence in the public and private sector. Certainly, I would not have expected to enter an operation theatre expecting to have a cyst removed (in a safe and common operation that normally lasts 15 minutes) only to be partially castrated by a clueless drug-abusing butcher with a Jordanian diploma. The advent and progression of multiculturalism has disabused me of my earlier belief.

Be that as it may, if you are over 40, beware. It seems epididymial cysts are quite common among men in the over-40s age group.