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Fri Aug 29 03:18:25 SAST 2014

Netcare denies kidney transplant scam

Sapa | 16 September, 2010 10:240 Comments

Hospital network Netcare "vigorously denied" on Thursday reports of illegal kidney transplants at St Augustine's hospital in Durban.

"After several years of co-operating fully with the SA Police Service and providing the investigating officer with countless affidavits, it has come as a great surprise and disappointment that the prosecuting authority has seen it fit to bring charges against Netcare Limited, Netcare KZN and Dr Richard Friedland, Chief Executive Officer of Netcare," the hospital group said in a statement posted on its website.

"Netcare Limited, Netcare KZN and Dr Friedland vigorously deny any wrongdoing whatsoever and intend to defend the charges brought against them."

The Mercury newspaper reported on Thursday that Netcare allegedly made more than R22 million with the operations.

According to the Durban paper, Friedland was accused of being aware of the illegal transplants and allowing them to continue.

The charges relate to more than a 100 operations at the hospital between 2001 and 2003 in which people -- mainly Brazilians -- were paid as little as R42,000 to donate their kidneys to Israeli patients.

Friedland and several transplant unit staff were served with summons on Thursday, according to The Times newspaper.

More people were expected to be served with summons on Thursday.

The accused were expected to appear in a Durban court in November.

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