South Africa

Pressure piles on Mediclinic over apartheid-era doctor Dr Wouter Basson

Cape Town - Pressure is mounting on Mediclinic to act as the EFF and the Black People's National Crisis Committee (BPNCC) have backed calls for the private hospital operator to prohibit controversial apartheid-era doctor Wouter Basson from accessing in their facilities.

A public outrage was elicited by the hospital's response earlier this week after it emerged that Basson, dubbed “Dr Death” has been practising as a cardiologist specialist for the past 15 years, operating at Mediclinic’s Panorama and Durbanville facilities in the Northern Suburbs.

Basson is known for the role he played as head of a top secret chemical and biological warfare project during the apartheid era, including relating to the research into anti-fertility drugs for ethnic cleansing of black people.

He was also implicated in poisoning and killing anti-apartheid activists.

Mediclinic Southern Africa said in a statement it viewed the public concerns raised about Basson in a very serious light and this was receiving priority attention and consideration at top leadership level.

“By law, practising doctors are independent practitioners and are not employed by any hospital group. Dr Basson is not employed by Mediclinic Southern Africa and does not have his consulting rooms at a Mediclinic facility. He consults from his own rooms, where patients choose to consult him.

“In the interest of our patients, we must respect each patient’s right to choose the most appropriate medical professional to deliver the required treatment at the facility of the patient’s choice. Dr Basson operates as an independent specialist cardiologist, with admission rights to treat his patients in two Mediclinic facilities as well as at other hospitals that are not in the Mediclinic stable. We acknowledge and understand the sensitivities and ethical perspectives on the matter,” said the hospital.

EFF national spokesperson Vuyani Pambo said they were not satisfied with Mediclinic’s response and believed that it should disassociate itself from Basson on ethical and moral grounds.

“Failure by Mediclinic to dissociate themselves from this terrorist, a doctor of death, essentially means that they as an institution pay no mind to the safety of black patients and the primary objective to restore life,” said Pambo.

BPNCC spokesperson Songezo Mazizi said they would lodge murder and “manslaughter” charges against Basson at the Cape Town Central police station.

Meanwhile the Health Professions Council of SA is gearing up to launch fresh disciplinary proceedings against Basson.

A a new conduct committee to deal with the disciplinary process was expected to be appointed in weeks to come.

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Cape Times

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