English World

Girl, 5, dies of asthma attack after doctor refused to see her for being minutes late to appointment

LONDON: A five-year-old British girl who was turned away by a doctor for being a few minutes late for an appointment died of an asthma attack that very day.

But the doctor is still practising medicine in South Wales after being given a warning following a secret disciplinary hearing, a local daily reported.

Ellie-May Clark, who lived in Newport, was scheduled to see Dr Joanne Rowe at 5pm on Jan 26, 2015 after suffering an asthma attack. She had several serious asthma attacks in the past six months.

It was an emergency appointment but Dr Rowe turned the girl and her mother away because they were late.

Clark said they were four minutes late, while an official report said they were eight minutes late.

As the receptionist was busy when they arrived, it was 5.18pm when the receptionist called Dr Rowe to ask if she would see Ellie-May.

Dr Rowe said that the patient was more than 10 minutes late and turned them away.

They were told to come back to the clinic in the morning.

Another doctor at the clinic questioned the decision, as it was an emergency appointment, the report said.

At 10.35pm that night, Clark found Ellie-May had suffered another attack and stopped breathing. She was rushed to hospital but died.

A National Health Service report found Dr Rowe’s refusal to see Ellie-May to be the ‘root cause’ of the child’s death.

She was issued a warning after a hearing held behind closed doors.

Ellie-May’s grandmother, Brandi, told the daily: “We’ve never even had an apology from Dr Rowe, who got away with just a slap on the wrist after her clock-watching attitude killed our beautiful girl.” – The Straits Times/Asia News Network

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