Sunday, March 28, 2010

SA's dodgy doctors

The deterioration of South African health care has been so rapid, at this stage the government can only hope to do an assessment of the damage. They are too slow to identify the cause, which is mainly affirmative action. At this rate we are heading for a complete break down to African health standards. I haven't been to any public health care facilities in South Africa lately but I am told it is only possible to grasp the horror when you see it in person.

South Africa's medical professionals are in the dock over claims that some sexually abuse patients, suffer alcohol and drug addiction or battle to pay bills.

This is according to the Health Professions Council of SA (HPCSA) the statutory body that oversees the conduct of health-care workers in the country.

Amid a spate of high-profile cases involving medical practitioners and patients, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi is finalising the establishment of the Forum of Statutory Health Professional Councils.

The oversight body will protect the public by holding the statutory health councils to account for their performance as competent public authorities.

In the past year medics have faced a litany of grievances from patients, including claims of sexual misconduct, overcharging, wrong treatment and fraudulently writing out certificates, according to the HPCSA.

The number of complaints against medical professionals, according to the latest available statistics, increased from 2 036 in 2007/08 to 2 310 in 2008/09.

A total of 336 doctors were found to be struggling with drug (including morphine, cocaine, mandrax and heroin) and alcohol dependency, compared with 110 in the previous period.

At least 29 medics were dealing with depression and cheques written by 350 doctors and dentists for registration with the council last year had bounced.

Statistics for the past five years show that past year 190 cases were finalised, with 71 doctors paying admission of guilt fines, 16 acquitted, 45 suspended, four struck off the roll, six reprimanded and 48 referred to a committee for their transgressions merely to be noted.

Nine doctors were struck off the roll in 2007/08, against 10 in the previous year and 18 in 2005/06.

The HPCSA has 105 000 members, comprising doctors, dentists, dieticians, medical technologists, occupational therapists, opto-metrists, dispensing opticians, physiotherapists, podiatrists, biokineticists and psychologists.

Most of the complaints are against doctors and dentists.

The shocking revelations come after former Cape Town specialist orthopaedic surgeon Johannes Albertus Roux Volsteedt was found guilty in the Bellville Magistrate's Court on Friday of raping and indecently assaulting a former female patient.

He was also found guilty on 14 counts of indecent assault of nine female patients. And he is on trial in the Witbank Regional Court on three charges of indecent assault that allegedly took place while he was practising at the Park Medical Centre in Witbank.

Last week the HPCSA held a hearing in a misconduct case against a Joburg doctor accused of having sex with a patient in his rooms at Life Flora Clinic in Roodepoort.

The doctor is still on duty at Life Flora Clinic. His legal representative confirmed yesterday that a summons pertaining to a civil case against his client had been served.

Communications manager for the Life Healthcare Group, Marietjie Shelly, said the case of unprofessional conduct involved only the specialist, not the hospital.

"The hospital will await the findings and ruling of the HPCSA in this case," she said.

Communications officer for the HPCSA, Lize Nel, said for sensitive cases, identities were withheld to protect the complainants, but the practitioner did not have the same protection.

"Due to the sensitive nature of the charge sheet, the doctor's legal representatives requested the committee of inquiry to grant a similar ruling in respect of the doctor. The committee ruled that the doctor's request to have his name not published was granted."

The annual report from the council for 2008/2009 said in addition to claims of improper sexual relations between doctors and patients bringing the profession into disrepute, there had been complaints of overcharging, instances of wrong treatment and other claims - all of which were being investigated.

Last year Mpumalanga medic Ebrahim Dafi was given a suspended sentence after being found guilty of unprofessional conduct for having sex with a patient who had gone to see him because she suffered a loss of libido.

Dafi, chief medical officer in the paediatrics department at Rob Ferreira Hospital in Nelspruit, was warned that his six-month suspension would take immediate effect if he was found guilty of a similar offence within two years.

The incident took place in 2005 when Dafi and the patient had sex at Embhuleni Hospital, where he had been in charge of child health.

In another incident Ninandu Mafulu, the senior Joburg district surgeon, was accused of sexually assaulting female rape victims who came to him for help. The case is continuing in Randburg Magistrate's Court amid claims that more complaints have been received.

SA Medical Association chairman Norman Mabasa said of all cases reported to the HPCSA, only about 10 percent reached the hearing stage.

Registrar of the Allied Health Professions Council of South Africa Louis Mullinder confirmed that the council for alternative medicine had also received complaints about complementary and alternative health practitioners relating to improper conduct.

From Tribune, 28 March 2010

9 Opinion(s):

Viking said...

wow..

I heard a story about a (black) doctor in one of SA's worst hospitals who, not happy with his affirmative appointment, took it upon himself to steal an ultrasound machine, and used it to charge pregnant women to have photos taken of their unborns - for a fee, of course.
He was reported. But was he fired?
Was he f*&k.

trey cruz said...

The Boers and the Brits are worse than the damn kaffirs.
The Kaffirs behave this way because it would be un-natural for them not to.
The whites whinge and complain while the civilization their ancestors slaved and suffered to create is ruined, their parents are carjacked and killed, their sons are beaten and their daughters are kidnapped and raped by knuckle dragging simians but no one even suggests that violent resistance might be called for.
You deserve to go down the Darwinian toilet.
You are pathetic.

Birdman said...

@trey cruz.

Ok Rambo, explain violent resistance. There are other ways of dealing with this kind of shit. If you have not figured it out, get some kind of an education.

FishEagle said...

@ Trey. Thanks for standing up to your countrymen when they implemented sanctions against South Africa and ostracized us from the rest of the world, forcing us to accept the deal that no one really wanted......Assuming that's what you did. Not very successfully, mind you.

FishEagle said...

@ Trey. Anyway, you are right to monitor the blogs of disgruntled societies like us white South Africans. You've slipped once, stabbing your own race in the back, and who knows how many times the same thing happened before. All the disgruntled white societies of the world that have been trampled on will come together for some payback one day.

AMB said...

Trey Cruz doesn't sound like a white name - maybe he's a wanna be? Dr Volsteedt's case has been ongoing for years. If they allowed him to practise, despite complaints against him, then the HPCSA should be held accountable. They make the decisions not to prosecute or to allow these Dr's to continue to practise.

trey cruz said...

Fisheagle, you have stabbed yourselves in the heart and you attempt to blame me?
By the by, yes, I did speak out against what the big Jew was doing to SA, but in those pre internet days if you didn't own a television station or a newspaper your voice didn't carry very far.
So, now you have a choice: Either stick around and hope you are not murdered before these hyper phallic primitives poison themselves with aids and stupidity and depopulate the land [in which case the Chinese will probably move in and be your new masters, or escape to the dying west...........
good luck.

Jim Beam said...

@Trey

Have you ever been to war or seen what a bullet does to the head of a human? The only people who talk war are those that have never been in one.

FishEagle said...

@ Trey. See conversation about the 'dying west' at

http://thinkingmansguidetotheworld.blogspot.com/2010/03/meet-mahdi-hassan-norways-2009-role.html?showComment=1269854038841#comment-c5401848991052375465