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Tue Dec 23 06:21:36 SAST 2014

Bara doctor who charged for free eye operation fired

Sapa | 27 November, 2012 15:54
Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto. File photo.
Image by: KEVIN SUTHERLAND

A doctor has been fired from Chris Hani Baragwanath hospital for charging a pensioner R3000 for an operation which is free at public health facilities, the Gauteng department of health said on Tuesday.

In a statement, it said the pensioner consulted Dr D Soma at a private health facility, but that he performed the cataract removal operation at the state hospital.

Soma was charged with misconduct for using public facilities to operate on a private patient.

He was in the process of appealing his dismissal.

Five operations at the hospital had to be cancelled because of another doctor, who was accused of working at a private hospital when he was meant to be at Chris Hani Baragwanath hospital.

The department said it was investigating the allegations.

The police were also investigating four pharmacy employees who allegedly stole medicine from the hospital.

One of them was apparently caught trying to smuggle R200,000 worth of medication out of the hospital gates.

Another pharmacy assistant and a pharmacist at the hospital were being investigated internally for allegedly improperly handling medicines.

"Meanwhile, a clerk has taken his case on arbitration after being dismissed for allegedly defrauding members of the public by promising them employment at the hospital," the department said.

It was estimated that the man had accumulated R398,000 through the scam.

The department said it would take tough measures against employees who stole hospital resources.

"The negative impact of unethical conduct by professionals is borne by members of the public, who are turned back because of medical shortages, and have to wait long periods for their operations to be done," it said.

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