Humairaa Mayet | 16 January 2020
Following the tragic death of 10-year-old paediatric patient, Zayyan Sayed in Ocotber 2019 and consequently the apprehension of the doctors who operated on him – most notably Dr. Peter Beale – controversy has arisen surrounding the South African medical fraternity.
Dr. Rinesh Chetty spoke to Salaamedia’s Azhar Vadi and explained why he has started a petition against the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA). The incident, “sent shockwaves through the medical community” and resulted in the public arrest of the doctors involved.
These events have cast a shadow over the entire medical fraternity, said Chetty, and in light of such happenings, doctors have grown afraid to test out life-saving, albeit risky, operations and procedures for fear of imprisonment.
Chetty stated that there is a great need for transparency under these circumstances between doctors and the families of affected patients, however, the confidentiality clause can tend to hinder clear and open communication at times.
In the wake of Sayed’s passing, many more families have come forth, claiming that their loves ones too were victims of medical negligence. Chetty claimed that this knock-on effect would not have occurred had affected families been given a platform to receive communication from their medical practioners.
According to Chetty, the NPA has followed prima facie(first impression) evidence and has therefore not conducted a complete and thorough investigation into the situation. An inquest is of utmost necessity, said Chetty, so as to discern if this was a case of medical negligence or culpable homicide.
Chetty claimed that the doctors were arrested even though the correct medico-legal processes were not followed, and stated that the arrests could have easily been prevented had proper mediation processes been followed.