I was operated on by a bogus doctor'
MBABANE – A Swazi patient who was referred by the Phalala Fund to a South African hospital, has revealed that he was operated on by an unqualified medical doctor.
Lawyer Jabulani Shekwa was referred to Pretoria, last year, to undergo an operation at the Louis Pasteur Private Hospital for a spinal cord-related problem.
The Swazi government was to pay E250 000 for the operation.
Shekwa was operated on the neck, and stayed in hospital from February to March 2011.
Shekwa’s condition, however, did not improve after the operation. The doctor, Dr Nyunyi Wambuyi Katumba from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) had managed to register to practice in South Africa after he was registered with the Health Professionals Council of South Africa (HPCSA). Katumba worked in South Africa for four years before a probe into his qualifications was instituted. The doctor had worked in Botswana and Zimbabwe and it was alleged that he was fired in both countries. The Swazi attorney’s condition has still not improved.
Shekwa alleged that he was only given 10 painkillers after the operation in South Africa.
He is now exploring other avenues following the discovery that Katumba was not a qualified neurosurgeon.
The administrator of the Phalala Fund, Thabisile Dlamini confirmed knowledge of Shekwa’s case.
According to the correspondences between Shekwa and the HPCSA, Shekwa wrote: "Dr. Katumba just took a glance at one MRI picture and said ‘I know where the problem is,’ and he pointed at his neck and said that is where he is going to perform the surgery. Had I been aware that he was a bogus neurosurgeon, I would not have signed the consent forms."
The unqualified neurosurgeon operated on the front of the neck and inserted plates.
According to the Medical Chronicle, the doctor, who earlier had failed an examination that would allow him to practice in South Africa as a neurosurgeon, managed to get employment at the Steve Biko Academic Hospital. He was fired for incompetency after two years of employment.
He, however, managed to get employment in 2011 at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital as a neurosurgeon.
According to a South African newspaper, The Star, the doctor was deregistered in December 2011.
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