CAMHS Medication Misdiagnosis Controversy – Dr David Kromer (43), the junior doctor in the midst of controversy over alleged excessive prescription of drugs and unwarranted diagnoses of children at South Kerry Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) has said he does not regret any of his clinical decisions.
Around October 2020, Dr Ankur Sharma, a newly-appointed locum consultant psychiatrist, raised serious concerns regarding Dr Kromer’s diagnostic and prescribing practices. Among these concerns was what Dr Sharma viewed as the prescription of inappropriate combinations and dosages of drugs, including antipsychotics and anti-depressants, to children.
The HSE subsequently commissioned an English consultant child psychiatrist to lead a “look back” review into about 1,500 CAMHS cases.
Arising out of this review, around 200 apologies have been issued by the HSE to patients and their families for inadequate care during the four years Dr Kromer worked at South Kerry CAMHS. It is anticipated that the review’s report will highlight failings across multiple areas and involve multiple staff and teams.
Dr Kromer remains licensed to practice medicine, but he has not done so since 2020. He has said he expects that the Medical Council will carry out an investigation. He told the Irish Independent that he declined to take part in the HSE review and that he made his professional decisions with his best knowledge, attention, and intentions. He said that he would make the same decisions again.
In response to the concern raised by Dr Sharma that he (Dr Kromer) had been inadequately supervised, he said there had been a lack of resources and that his supervisor had done what they could. Dr Kromer expressed hope that the review would lead to a better-run, better-resourced service.
When asked about Dr Sharma’s discovery of 55 cases where medication had been prescribed to patients who were apparently forgotten about thereafter and not called back for review, Dr Kromer suggested that this was as much the service’s responsibility as his own.
He said he had worked 50- and 60-hour weeks and occasionally 100-hour weeks, including “exhausting” 24-hour shifts, and that his requests for a less demanding contract had been declined.
Nonetheless, he admitted that he occasionally took on outside work doing cosmetic treatments. He declined to comment on whether he believed he might be made a scapegoat for systematic failings.