Health Authority Knew About Pathologist’s Problems: Miramichi

by John McKiggan

The public inquiry investigating concerns about botched cancer screening tests by former pathologist Rajgopal Menon heard testimony today of concerns about the disgraced pathologist.

Jeff Carter, director of medical services at the Miramichi Regional Hospital, testified he heard concerns about Menon beginning in 2002.

Carter said while he was the regional risk management co-ordinator at the hospital in 2002 he heard complaints about Menon including:

Slow turn around times completing tests.

Complaints that hundreds of Menon’s reports were incomplete.

Menon averaged 11.4 days to complete tests that took other pathologists 3.6 days.

Carter testified once he started to look into Menon’s work he found there were concerns on record about the pathologist that dated back to 1998.

The New Brunswick Health Authority is re-examining nearly 24,000 cases he handled between 1995 and 2007.

This only a day after officials with New Brunswick’s Health Department testified they had no idea there were concerns about Menon’s work in Miramichi before the suspension of his licence last year. Lise Daigle, director of hospital services, testified she worked closely with lab consultants for years, but no issues were brought to her attention about the Miramichi lab and the work of Dr. Rajgopal Menon.

Ms. Daigle testified the day after the former Deputy Minister of Health testified that she heard complaints about Menon but she didn’t think Menon was “incompetent”.

If Ms. Daigle’s testimony is true, it begs the question: Who was more incompetent, Menon or officials at the Health Department? What do you think?

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