Hospital doctor dying of Aids: Helpline set up for worried patients

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The Independent Online
A DOCTOR who worked in general practice and at hospitals throughout the west of Scotland, is dying from Aids, it was disclosed yesterday.

Doctor Douglas Haire, of Port Glasgow, was said to be so ill that he could not help investigators who yesterday began an inquiry into the circumstances of the case.

Dr Haire, who is in his 30s, was said to have been diagnosed as suffering from Aids only last week. His condition was described as 'advanced and declining rapidly' at a briefing organised by Greater Glasgow Health Board. He is being treated at Inverclyde Royal Infirmary, Greenock. Last night his condition was said to be 'poor'.

Under the latest government guidelines for the medical professions, health workers are required to inform their employers about HIV and Aids infection. Self-declarations were said be an ethical duty.

Health board officials revealed that Dr Haire had worked at Leanchoil Hospital in Forres, Morayshire, the Sick Children's Hospital in Glasgow, Paisley Maternity Hospital, the gynaecology department of Victoria Infirmary, Glasgow, and in the accident and emergency unit of the Southern General Hospital, Glasgow.

He also worked in a number of other departments - including paediatrics, obstetrics, geriatrics, and psychiatry - and as a GP at several practices.

Dr Dan Reid, director of communicable diseases at Ruchill Hospital in Glasgow, told the briefing that Dr Haire had been off work for some time, but the Aids diagnosis was only made known to the health board in the last few days. Dr Reid said he could not be sure how long the doctor had been HIV positive, before developing Aids.

In an effort to allay fears among those treated by Dr Haire, a representative of the British Medical Association said: 'There are no cases world-wide of a patient having contracted Aids or HIV from a doctor.'

Lord Fraser of Carmyllie, the Scottish health minister, described the situation as 'regrettable' and said he appreciated the anxieties of patients.

A helpline has been set up at Ruchill Hospital (0800-317314) and worried patients have also been urged to contact the National Aids Helpline on 0800 567123. Dr Andrew Reid, chief administrative medical officer at the Glasgow health board, said letters had been sent to 40 patients who were at Paisley Maternity Hospital between 1986 and 1987. Patients from Forres would also be contacted.