WINNIPEG – A Manitoba doctor and stroke specialist is suing the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, alleging he was forced out of his job at the province’s largest hospital after he complained about workplace bullying.
Dr. Thomas Mammen, who specializes in interventional neuroradiology, had worked at the Health Sciences Centre and now practises in Brandon.
Mammen alleges he was blocked from practising his specialty at the Winnipeg hospital after he resigned from a corporation of radiology consultants in the city because of repeated incidents of bullying and harassment.
In a statement of claim filed in court Tuesday, he alleges the health authority dismissed his complaints that he was being bullied within the corporation.
Mammen also says his departure is part of what he calls a mass exodus of specialists from the Health Sciences Centre that could leave stroke patients vulnerable.
None of the allegations have been proven in court and a statement of defence has not been filed, although the authority says in a statement emailed to the Winnipeg Free Press newspaper that it disputes some claims.
The Radiology Consultants of Winnipeg Medical Corporation, or RADCO, recruited Mammen to work at HSC and he eventually became a shareholder along with other radiologists at Winnipeg hospitals.
He claims he was subjected to and witnessed verbal abuse, bullying and abuse of authority from some of the doctors at the corporation, and ultimately resigned from RADCO in 2015 after he says he made multiple attempts to resolve the issues.
He claims he wanted to keep working at the hospital without being part of the group, but he says the WRHA told him it had an agreement with RADCO that required all radiologists who worked under the health authority to be part of RADCO.
He disputes that there is such an agreement and is asking the court to rule on what he describes as “the illegal relationship” between WRHA and RADCO.
As part of RADCO, he says he and other doctors had to pay in to “top up” other doctors’ incomes.
Mammen wants the court to order WRHA to pay him damages, including for lost income, and to declare that the health authority violated his rights.
In a news release issued by Mammen on Tuesday, the doctor said he felt he had no choice but to turn to the court.
“My hope is that the WRHA will be forced, by the courts, to eliminate workplace harassment and bullying at the HSC, to help serve the emergency needs of stroke patients in Manitoba,” he said.