maltatoday has reported about how Dr Naged Megally wants to sue Mater Dei after claiming to have been manhandled out of ultrasound room with CEO Ivan Falzon threatening to tarnish his reputation if he would not obey orders.
The well renowned obstetrician has filed a judicial protest against the Minister for Health, Mater Dei Hospital’s CEO and members of an internal board of inquiry that dismissed his claim to have been physically manhandled out of a clinic at Mater Dei Hospital by another doctor for “taking too long” to carry out an ultrasound.
In the court document, Dr Naged Megally, who has been wheelchair-bound ever since he was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy in 1986, said that Prof. Yves Muscat Baron and Mater Dei CEO Ivan Falzon had interrupted a 4D scan he was carrying out on a patient on 10 July 2018.
Megally, who ran in the European elections of 2019 on the far-right Patriots ticket, claims he was ordered to leave the room as Prof. Muscat Baron needed to use the equipment, who told him that he was was taking too long to finish his work “because of his disability”.
Falzon and Muscat Baron were so determined to throw the doctor out immediately, that they had not even waited for hospital porters to help him into his wheelchair and had instead lifted him up and carried him to a chair in the corridor, he claims.
The judicial protest reads that Megally had made a complaint about his treatment to Falzon later that same day, only to be told that if he would not bow to the CEO’s authority, the CEO would “tarnish his reputation with some information which he had in his possession.”
When confronted later, Prof. Mifsud Baron had once again insisted that the man’s disability was causing delays in the use of the ultrasound equipment.
Megally had informed the Minister for Health, requesting an inquiry be held into bullying, harassment and discrimination in his regard. A board of inquiry, composed of Prof. Charles Savona Ventura, Prof. Raymond P. Galea and Albert P. Scerri investigated the case in 2018, eventually reporting – in May 2019- that the complaint was unfounded.
But the doctor claims that this inquiry was not held in accordance with the principles of justice, as he was not told who testified nor given a chance to cross-examine the witnesses.
He had later requested the hospital’s Medical Director, Walter Busuttil, to pass on a copy of the report but was only given its conclusions, which said that the hospital’s administration had the right to allocate its resources as it saw fit and that Falzon had not threatened the Megally. Muscat Baron’s actions may have been “coarse and bristly,” it said, but the complainant also had “heightened sensitivities” over his disability. The report itself was an internal document, he was told, and could not be given out.
But the board could not have functioned impartially when it was appointed to investigate two of its superiors, argued Megally’s lawyers Jonathan Thompson and Ryan Falzon. They insisted that the defendants provide a full copy of the internal inquiry and the evidence it used, as well as provide Megally with a remedy and ensure no future bullying or discrimination takes place or face a court case for damages.