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Falsified operating theatre logs: special inquiry commission report is out

: Suspicions confirmed – surgeon in question suspended from duty
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(Vienna, 02 October 2018) In the matter of the falsified operating theatre logs at the Medical University of Vienna’s Department of Surgery in Vienna General Hospital – which was widely reported in the media – the special five-strong inquiry commission set up at the beginning of August issued its report today, 02 October 2018. The main finding: the suspicions against the surgeon at the centre of the affair have been confirmed. The commission therefore recommended that disciplinary action be taken under employment law. Accordingly, the Rectorate of MedUni Vienna immediately suspended the doctor from duty and instigated disciplinary action.

The special commission includes the former head of an Austrian department of surgery, a former senior surgeon and a retired rector of an Austrian medical university.

The background: since the end of last week, the Austrian media have been reporting about the potential falsification of operating theatre logs in Vienna General Hospital, ordered by a surgeon working at Vienna General Hospital. MedUni Vienna was made aware of the suspicions in July 2018, whereupon MedUni Vienna Rector Markus Müller convened a special inquiry commission. Their report is now available and confirms the suspicions against the doctor.

For the vast majority of operations examined during the review period, it was established that the surgeon concerned was not the operating surgeon, although he was entered as such in the operating theatre logs. According to the Commission, these irregularities had existed since at least 2014. There is clear evidence that the doctor concerned not only knew about this pattern but even ordered the false entries to be made.

Spot checks at the same department revealed that the falsified operating theatre entries only related to one person – namely the surgeon at the centre of the affair. Consequently, it is not about a general documentation problem at the department concerned.